Clinic appointment cancellation and 'no–shows' by patients can disturb day–to–day scheduling and lead to inefficient resource allocation and lost revenue. This paper presents an approach for dynamic process modelling and analysis of patients' no–show rates in conjunction with the overbooking strategy. To this end, a dynamic discrete event simulation model of a clinic operation is developed to assess current clinic performance under various no–show rates and patterns and test several overbooking strategies to improve clinic's efficiency and enhance performance. The approach significance includes the analysis of variability in scheduling and treatment times, the impact of patients reneging, and walk–in patients. In addition, the paper develops a unified clinic utility function that analyses the impact of overbooking on clinic revenue (patients treated), capacity (utilisation), and customer service (wait time). An example of a general practice (GP) healthcare clinic is used to illustrate the development and application of the proposed approach.
Keywords: process modelling, appointment scheduling, healthcare clinics, no–show rates, overbooking strategies, discrete event simulation, engineering management, appointment cancellations, treatment times, patient reneging, walk–in patients, clinic revenue, capacity, customer service