Acuity-Based Scheduling: Outcomes in Ambulatory Oncology Centers

LaCrista Edwards

Kimberly Hermis

Christopher R. LeGette

Lourdes A. Lujan

Cicely Scarlett

acuity-based scheduling, regional cancer center, wait times, chemotherapy
CJON 2017, 21(2), 250-253. DOI: 10.1188/17.CJON.250-253

With an increase in the number of patients with cancer receiving treatment in the ambulatory setting, a need exists to evaluate lean approaches to provide safe, effective, and timely care delivery. Acuity-based scheduling (ABS) was implemented across the regional ambulatory care centers of a National Cancer Institute–designated comprehensive cancer center. ABS involved templates and a reconfiguration of clinical space and staff according to acuity levels. Results suggest improvement in wait times, capacity, infusion hours, chair use rate, patient visits, chair turns, average infusion length, and patient satisfaction.


  • Evaluating opportunities for the implementation of lean methodologies in the ambulatory oncology treatment setting is essential to consistently respond to increasing patient volumes.
  • The use of ABS allows for natural delineation of patients based on the type and acuity of care they are receiving.
  • ABS may result in a lean, efficient clinic environment that enhances nursing practice, patient care delivery, fiscal responsibility, and a more favorable patient and provider relationship.
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