Simulation Based Approach for Improving Outpatient Clinic Operations
The aim of this study is to suggest the optimum number and schedule of doctors at the OPD (Out-Patient Department) of Gastrology of a hospital in Pakistan. In order to achieve this aim, the discrete event simulation model is developed to minimize waiting time of patients. Data is collected for one week from the OPD; Data collection variables are arrival and service rate of patients, their salaries/income, patient‘s OPD fee, doctor’s charges/patient, service time of patients at each of service channel i.e. reception, triage and doctors’ cabin. Stop watch is used for recording the service time of patients. Input analyzer is used to reveal the distribution of the data. Rockwell arena software version 14.5 is used to model and simulate the queuing system of the outpatient department. Scenario analysis is conducted in four scenarios; in each of the scenario doctors were assumed to be seated for one additional hour. During the period of data collection, it is observed that most of the patients are coming with an appointment of doctors therefore, it is not justified to suggest the hiring of new doctor; especially when patients are coming for the particular doctor; therefore, already available doctors are suggested to be seated longer in the OPD; that is the way to serve the maximum number of patients in the virtual queue of patients that has been kept waiting for having an appointment and for their turn to see the doctor.