A probabilistic patient scheduling model for reducing the number of no-shows Articles uri icon

publication date

  • July 2020

start page

  • 1102

end page

  • 1112


  • 7


  • 71

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0160-5682

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1476-9360


  • No-shows in medical centres cause under-utilisation of resources and increase waiting times in specialty health care services. Although this problem has been addressed in literature, behavioural issues associated with the patient's socio-demographic characteristics and diagnosis have not been widely studied. In this article, we propose a model that includes such behavioural issues in order to reduce impact of no-shows in medical services. The objective is maximising the health centre's expected revenue by using show-up probabilities estimated for each combination of patient and appointment slot. Additionally, the model considers the requirements imposed by both the health centre's management and the health authorities. An extension of the model allows overbooking in some appointment slots. Experimental results show that the proposed model can reduce the waiting list length by 13%, and to attain an increase of about 5% in revenue, when comparing to a model that assigns patients to the first available slot.


  • appointment scheduling; no-shows; overbooking; health care; behavioural or