Predicting daily visits to a walk-in clinic and emergency department using calendar and weather data

J Gen Intern Med. 1996 Apr;11(4):237-9. doi: 10.1007/BF02642481.


We studied the association between calendar and weather variables and daily unscheduled patient volume in a walk-in clinic and emergency department. Calendar variables (season, week of month, day of week, holidays, and federal check-delivery days) and weather variables (high temperature and snowfall) forecasted clinic volume, explaining 84% of daily variance and 44% of weekday variance. Staffing according to predicted volume could have decreased overstaffing from 59% to 15% of days, but would have increased understaffing from 2% to 18% of days. Models using calendar and weather data that forecast local utilization may help to schedule staffing for walk-in clinics and emergency departments more efficiently.

MeSH terms

  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Forecasting
  • Hospitals, Veterans / organization & administration
  • Hospitals, Veterans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling
  • Regression Analysis
  • Seasons
  • Time Factors
  • Weather*