An Open-Access Doctor's Office

Applying operations research and a simple spreadsheet could be the key to eliminating wait times for doctor's appointments and other service providers

As the head of a large primary care department at a Kaiser Permanente facility in Northern California, Dr. Mark Murray knew he had a problem. The average wait time for an appointment was 55 days, and even then, patients had less than a 50-50 chance of seeing their own primary care physician. On a personal level, listening to complaints from his dissatisfied patients was frustrating. And as a doctor, the situation made him extremely uncomfortable. "I knew that inside those 55 days there were mammograms that needed to be done, patients with chronic conditions that were getting worse," he says.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.