Anatomy of an Outpatient Visit

An Evaluation of Clinic Efficiency in General and Subspecialty Clinics

Published in: Medical Group Management Journal, v. 42, no. 6, Nov./Dec. 1995, p. 19-25

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1995

by Andrew B. Lanto, Elizabeth Yano, Arlene Fink, Lisa V. Rubenstein

The time spent in outpatient visits to a Veteran's Administration medical center was measured to determine clinic efficiency. Patient flow through the outpatient department of the medical center was studied to: 1) evaluate how time is spent in VA outpatient settings as compared to non-VA outpatient settings, including waiting time, checking of vital signs, seeing the doctor, etc., 2) develop a baseline to gauge the comparison of the effects of management changes; and 3) develop a mechanism for collecting clinic activity efficiency.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.