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medical practice management, open access, same-day scheduling



  1. Mallard, Stephen D. MD
  2. Leakeas, Terri MPH
  3. Duncan, W Jack PhD
  4. Fleenor, Michael E. MD, MPH
  5. Sinsky, Richard J. DrPH


Same-day scheduling, is built on the premise that today's work should be done today. Ensuring patients access to providers on the same day that they call their providers challenges a cherished assumption of medical practice management. Increasing dissatisfaction on the part of both patients and providers has made same-day scheduling increasingly popular for medical practices in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. The study described in this article reports the results of an experimental introduction of same-day scheduling in a public health clinic. Same-day scheduling resulted in shorter waiting times, lower no-show rates (or alternatively higher show rates), more new patients, and increased provider productivity. The results of this pilot study were sufficient to convince the local health department to expand same-day scheduling to all its clinics and illustrate the gains that can be achieved in doing today's work today.