Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
JAMA. 2003 Feb 26;289(8):1035-40.

Advanced access: reducing waiting and delays in primary care.

Author information

  • 1Mark Murray & Associates, Sacramento, Calif, USA.

Abstract

Delay of care is a persistent and undesirable feature of current health care systems. Although delay seems to be inevitable and linked to resource limitations, it often is neither. Rather, it is usually the result of unplanned, irrational scheduling and resource allocation. Application of queuing theory and principles of industrial engineering, adapted appropriately to clinical settings, can reduce delay substantially, even in small practices, without requiring additional resources. One model, sometimes referred to as advanced access, has increasingly been shown to reduce waiting times in primary care. The core principle of advanced access is that patients calling to schedule a physician visit are offered an appointment the same day. Advanced access is not sustainable if patient demand for appointments is permanently greater than physician capacity to offer appointments. Six elements of advanced access are important in its application balancing supply and demand, reducing backlog, reducing the variety of appointment types, developing contingency plans for unusual circumstances, working to adjust demand profiles, and increasing the availability of bottleneck resources. Although these principles are powerful, they are counter to deeply held beliefs and established practices in health care organizations. Adopting these principles requires strong leadership investment and support.

Comment in

PMID:
12597760
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk