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J Med Pract Manage. 2015 Mar-Apr;30(6 Spec No):2-7.

Impact of information technology on preoperative scheduling systems: a pilot study modeling scheduling systems in the preoperative clinic.



Scheduling systems that consider volume and patient acuity are crucial to maximize the use of resources during preoperative assessments. Identifying patients with specific needs and developing resource-efficient pathways to address these needs is essential to achieve a high-value framework. At our facility, we triage patients for assessment by phone or in-person visit. Significant variation in lengths of visits results in longer waiting times and inefficient scheduling of clinical and space resources. Developing a schedule that included appointments of shorter and longer lengths based on patient triage factors could optimize resource use.


We utilized a survey methodology to determine clinical and non-clinical factors that clinicians identified as important determinants of visit length.


Within the system-based issues, incomplete information given to the patient during the surgical office visit and the need for additional phone calls to outside medical facilities for information gathering afforded the longest mean appointment time lengths. Within patient-based issues, new clinical findings discovered during the visit and patients who lacked social support demonstrated the longest mean appointment times.


Both clinical and non-clinical issues contribute to visit length; a proper understanding of both can assist in developing evidence-based scheduling that maximizes value for both the patient and the system, as well as optimizing patient experience and outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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