On the surface, it sounds counterintuitive, but apparently medical practices that overbook patients have some operational advantages. A new study suggests that if they handle things right, clinics that overbook could see improved service and increased efficiencies, according to researchers with the University of Chicago.
While overbooking doesn't always improve resource allocation, it can if done correctly, the researchers found. In the study, researchers developed a computer simulation which helps doctors weigh the down sides of overbooking (such as patient waiting and staff overtime) against the benefits (better use of healthcare worker time). The simulation suggested that overbooking was most helpful for clinics that had high volumes, higher no-show rates than average and appointments that don't vary much in length.
To find out more about the study:
- read this piece from the Denver Business Journal
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