Healthcare is coming under ever increasing scrutiny for cost, quality, safety, and patient satisfaction. This paper compares two operational models (“rooming the patience” vs. “moving the patient”) against productivity, privacy, user satisfaction, and other performance measurements. Varying risk factors for patient populations ranging from infants to geriatrics and medical specialties from mental health to orthopedics are addressed for both models. In the first operational model after checking-in the patient is escorted to an examination room and waits as various caregivers (nurses, doctors, clerks, etc.) come and go from the exam room. In the second model the caregivers work from a specific location and the patient moves between the waiting room and these caregiver's locations (reception desk, office/exam room, scheduling desk, etc.) and back to the waiting room multiple times. The paper concludes that there are advantages and disadvantages for each model. The best model depends on both the patient type and care being provided. In some situation there are conflicting results depending on the priority of productivity vs. service level. Regardless of the situation, human factors should be an important consideration in any healthcare decision.

Meeting Name

6th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE 2015) and the Affiliated Conferences, AHFE 2015 (2015: Jul. 26-30, Las Vegas, NV)


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Clinic layout; Patient flow; Waiting and exam rooms; Patient satisfaction

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





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