Conclusion

The apparent conclusion is that the cancel and no show rate is high enough that it is beneficial to overbook the days preceding a day that typically shows a shortage of patients. Regardless that Tuesday is the least busy day of the week, scheduling more people on Tuesday leads to a more unbalanced schedule since enough patients will not show up or cancel their Tuesday appointment and reschedule for later in the week. The prevailing logic is that it is sometimes necessary to slightly overbook a day like Friday which typically has the highest workload. Small changes in scheduling is the best approach, noting that a small change is defined as an increase or decrease less than 10% of the anticipated demand for the day.

Table 5: Optimal Solution

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Baseline Solution 60 60 60 60 60
Optimal Solution 65 59 57 58 61
Percent Difference 8.00% -1.68% -5.13% -3.39% 1.65%

Wait times and infusion center throughput remains an evident problem in hospitals and clinics alike. Our research sheds light on one approach to help smooth the week to week over and under counts in a system monitoring the cancellation and no-show percentages of their patient base by adjusting the total scheduling capacity of the scheduling process in regards to our specific calculated cancellation and no-show percentages. Continued research should examine a heat map of optimal solutions that depend on varying no-show rates, cancellation rates, and time-varying capacities. Additionally, observing the fluctuations in the hour by hour changes of the scheduling process would yield a micro-viewpoint of the day to day over and under capacity counts. With continued research, the enigma of optimizing infusion center scheduling process can be further improved.