Scheduling arrivals to queues: A single-server model with no-shows

Refael Hassin*, Sharon Mendel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Queueing systems with scheduled arrivals, i.e., appointment systems, are typical for frontal service systems, e.g., health clinics. An aspect of customer behavior that influences the overall efficiency of such systems is the phenomenon of no-shows. The consequences of no-shows cannot be underestimated; e.g., British surveys reveal that in the United Kingdom alone more than 12 million general practitioner (GP) appointments are missed every year, costing the British health service an estimated £250 million annually. In this study we answer the following key questions: How should the schedule be computed when there are no-shows? Is it sufficiently accurate to use a schedule designed for the same expected number of customers without no-shows? How important is it to invest in efforts that reduce no-shows - i.e., given that we apply a schedule that takes no-shows into consideration, is the existence of no-shows still costly to the server and customers?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-572
Number of pages8
JournalManagement Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Appointment scheduling
  • Health care
  • No-show
  • Queue
  • Single server


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