This paper describes a GPSS-based, multi-server queueing model that was developed to simulate the patient flow, and to analyze the effectiveness of the patient scheduling system under various conditions. Unpredictable and unacceptably long waits to receive the service at the outpatient department of a general hospital necessitated the study. Arrival and service time distribution needed for the simulation model were generated from actual arrival and service patterns observed during the peak hours. The simulation results show that a change in patient scheduling system (i.e. time interval between appointments, starting time. and the number of physicians) from a current system would significantly reduce the patient wait time. This study provides the hospital administrator with an analysis of patient scheduling system under several conditions, and will be used to plan future scheduling system and staffing. Studies such as this can demonstrate the value of simulation in providing information for use in future planning.
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