Back to Journals » Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare » Volume 3

Hourly-block and standard patient scheduling systems at two private hospitals in Alexandria

Authors Zaghloul A, Abou El-Enein N

Published 7 December 2010 Volume 2010:3 Pages 225—232

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S15068

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Ashraf Ahmad Zaher Zaghloul1, Nagwa Younes Abou El Enein2

1Health Services Administration Department, College of Health Sciences, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; 2Department of Health Administration and Behavioural Sciences, High Institute of Public Health, University of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt

Introduction: Patient appointment systems are of great importance for efficiently managing outpatient clinics as well as patient satisfaction as an indirect indicator for quality care rendered.
Purpose: To describe the hourly block and standard sequential scheduling appointment systems at two different hospitals, as well as to assess the patients' opinions regarding their waiting time in both systems.
Study settings: The study was conducted at ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) clinics in two of the biggest and reputable private hospitals in Alexandria. Hospital A follows the standard appointment system and Hospital B follows the hourly block appointment system.
Study design: A cross-sectional descriptive study was designed to compare the two settings.
Results: For new cases, the mean time was longer for the standard system with regards to access time (12.2 ± 5.9) days, while the mean time was longer in the hourly block system with regards to punctuality, waiting time, and consultation time (28.5 ± 12.3, 27.5 ± 17.1, and 14.5 ± 9.0 minutes, respectively). For return cases, the mean time was longer for the standard system with regards to access and punctuality times (14.5 ± 6.1 days and 48.9 ± 27.0 minutes, respectively), while the highest mean times in the hourly block system were for waiting and consultation (19.4 ± 6.9 and 12.3 ± 3.9 minutes, respectively). Most of the patients in both systems preferred the standard appointment system to the hourly block system (73.3% for Hospital A and 55.0% for Hospital B).
Conclusion: Every health care organization should know how to choose the most appropriate method of appointment system and how best to organize it to meet the needs of its patients. Patient scheduling is an important tool for efficient outpatient department management as well as rationally operating outpatient resources and critical areas like physician productivity, patient satisfaction, and practice profits.

Keywords: appointment, schedule, waiting time

A Letter to the Editor has been received and published for this article.

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]