Using simulation in out-patient queues: a case study

Int J Health Care Qual Assur. 1996;9(6):21-5. doi: 10.1108/09526869610128232.


Overwork and overcrowding in some periods was an important issue for the out-patient department of a local hospital in Chia-Yi in Taiwan. The hospital administrators wanted to manage the patient flow effectively. Describes a study which focused on the utilization of doctors and staff in the out-patient department, the time spent in the hospital by an out-patient, and the length of the out-patient queue. Explains how a computer simulation model was developed to study how changes in the appointment system, staffing policies and service units would affect the observed bottleneck. The results show that the waiting time was greatly reduced and the workload of the doctor was also reduced to a reasonable rate in the overwork and overcrowding periods.

MeSH terms

  • Appointments and Schedules*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital / standards
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / organization & administration
  • Taiwan
  • Time and Motion Studies*
  • Waiting Lists*
  • Workload