Stratified patient appointment scheduling for mobile community-based chronic disease management programs

Martin W P Savelsbergh, Karen Renee Smilowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Disease management programs have emerged as a cost-effective approach to treat chronic diseases. Appointment adherence is critical to the success of such programs; missed appointments are costly, resulting in reduced resource utilization and worsening of patients’ health states. The time of an appointment is one of the factors that impacts adherence. We investigate the benefits, in terms of improved adherence, of incorporating patients’ time-of-day preferences during appointment schedule creation and, thus, ultimately, on population health outcomes. Through an extensive computational study, we demonstrate, more generally, the usefulness of patient stratification in appointment scheduling in the environment that motivates our research, a mobile asthma management program. We find that capturing patient characteristics in appointment scheduling, especially their time preferences, leads to substantial improvements in community health outcomes. We also identify settings in which simple, easy-to-use policies can produce schedules that are comparable in quality to those obtained with an optimization-based approach.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-78
Number of pages14
JournalIIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016


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