waiting time for new appointment in outpatient clinic

waiting time for new appointment in outpatient clinic

waiting time for new appointment in outpatient clinic

I need literature review by using academic writing (start globally , gulf area, then Qatar)for my research in quality improvement about waiting time for new appointment in outpatient clinics. the background and aim of the research as below:

Hospitals and clinics are facing increasing competition for their services. To attract new patients, maintain patient satisfaction at high level and retain their investment, hospitals and clinics must be able to provide fast and efficient health care. Effective and efficient patient flow is indicated by high patient throughput, low patient waiting times, a short length of stay at the clinic, and low clinic overtime, while maintaining adequate staff utilization rates and low physician idle times.

Three areas that impact patients in clinics are patient scheduling and admissions, patient routing and flow schemes, scheduling and availability of resources (Jun, Jacobson, & Swisher, 1999).

An outpatient department represents a complex system through which many patients with varying needs pass each day. An effective appointment system is a critical component in controlling patient waiting times within clinic sessions and scheduling.

Using effective appointment schedules have been shown to drastically reduce patient waiting times, without the need for extra resources, and enable the department to move towards meeting the national standard.

Indirect waiting time is the time between a patient’s request and the actual appointment time. Long indirect waiting times prevent patients with acute needs from being seen by the provider in a timely manner. The direct waiting time comes between the scheduled appointment time and the time the patient receives care. The scheduling system can affect both direct and indirect waiting times. Whereas direct waiting is inconvenient to the patient, excessive indirect waiting can pose a serious safety concern [13]. If patients cannot receive healthcare service at the time needed, their condition can deteriorate, perhaps even become life-threatening.

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 require strong leadership investment and support.


Pediatric OPD has the following clinics with the following number of slots per week (need to put the information) General Pediatric clinic, G.I clinic and pulmonology clinic. General Pediatric clinics faced increasing demand as the number of referrals in 2016 was 1,542 while in 2017 reached 2073 referrals. So there is a need to balance this demand with the existing supply & improve patient access. Our aim to focus the efforts on improving capacity & resource clinics to meet the national standard & hospital priority of waiting the new appointment.

Problem statement


Problem statement
Currently, the average waiting times
to get new appointment for pediatric clinics routine referrals for Qatari
and Non- Qatari patients are 50 days and 60 days respectively. However the
national waiting time standard for Qatari and Non- Qatari is 14 days and 28
days respectively. This will delay the patient’s treatment, increase
unnecessary ED visits, inpatient admission and negatively impact the parent’s

The Gap

The current capacity (number of appointment slots) doesn’t meet the monthly increase in demand.

The current capacity which is 144 new appointment slots per month in general pediatric OPC doesn’t meet the monthly increase in demand which is approximately 173 slots

Aim Statement

To achieve the national standard of average waiting times to get new appointment for pediatric clinics routine referrals, (14 days for Qatari, 28 days for non- Qatari) by the end of May 2018.


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