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Improving Patient Access in Nuclear Medicine: A Case Study of PET Scanner Scheduling

Marmor, Yariv N. PhD; Kemp, Bradley J. PhD; Huschka, Todd R. MSc; Ruter, Royce L. BS; McConnell, Daniel M. BS; Rohleder, Thomas R. PhD

doi: 10.1097/QMH.0000000000000005
Original Articles

We used the systems engineering technique of discrete event simulation modeling to assist in increasing patient access to positron emission tomographic examinations in the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Mayo Clinic, Rochester. The model was used to determine the best universal slot length to address the specific access challenges of a destination medical center such as Mayo Clinic. On the basis of the modeling, a new schedule was implemented in April 2012 and our before and after data analysis shows an increase of 2.4 scans per day. This was achieved without requiring additional resources or negatively affecting patient waiting, staff satisfaction (as evaluated by day length), or examination quality.

Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, ORT Braude College, Karmiel, Israel (Dr Marmor); Department of Health Sciences Research, Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery (Dr Rohleder and Mr Huschka); Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Radiology (Dr Kemp and Mr McConnell); and Department of Radiology (Mr Ruter), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Correspondence: Thomas R. Rohleder, PhD, Department of Health Sciences Research, Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905 (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2013Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins