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Outpatient appointment scheduling with urgent clients in a dynamic, multi‐period environment

Kenneth J. Klassen (Brock University, Department of Management, Marketing and Human Resources, St Catherine's, Ontario, Canada)
Thomas R. Rohleder (University of Calgary, Faculty of Management: Operations Management, Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

International Journal of Service Industry Management

ISSN: 0956-4233

Article publication date: 1 April 2004



Time waiting for service is a major concern for consumers, and excessive waiting for a pre‐scheduled appointment is especially annoying. This is an on‐going problem because appointment scheduling is a challenging task, mainly due to the uncertainties associated with service times. Prior studies have focused mainly on a single scheduling period (i.e. either a morning or afternoon); this paper uses a more realistic model that represents an on‐going, multi‐period scheduling environment where clients can be scheduled days or even weeks into the future. Two main objectives will be considered; the best scheduling rule to use in a multi‐period environment, and the best placement of appointment slots that are left open for urgent clients. Both of these have been studied in a single period environment, and results here will be compared to those. It will be shown that in some cases earlier findings from the one‐period environment are robust and perform well in a multi‐period environment, while in other cases the one‐period findings do not apply.



Klassen, K.J. and Rohleder, T.R. (2004), "Outpatient appointment scheduling with urgent clients in a dynamic, multi‐period environment", International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 167-186.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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