Table 1

Study characteristics

Author/year/countryInterventionResearch question addressedStudy designSample sourceSample sizeModel of single entryData sourcePrimary outcome measures
Ramchandani et al (2002)5/UKPooled waiting lists for cataract surgery, whereby Pts are treated in turn by the first available surgeon Scope of use
Cross-sectionalCataract Pts, GPs and ophthalmologists in Birmingham85 Pts
50 GPs
479 ophthalmologists
  • Opinion on pooled waiting lists

Leach et al (2004)33/UKTwo systems to reduce WTs for elective non-complex spinal surgery: generic booking system for apts/surgery and MRI booking systemScope of use
Simple pre-post with non-equivalent groupsPts in Manchester awaiting non-complex spinal surgeryNot reportedP, C, TAdministrative data
  • WT1: referral to first apt

  • WT2: scan to outpatient review

  • Time on waiting list for surgery (>3/6/9 months)

Singh et al (2005)31/AustraliaPooled regional surgical referrals and altered procedure for surgical admission (use of a new booking and waiting list system administered by a coordinator; restructured surgical operating sessions; postdischarge model clinical pathway)Scope of use
Post-test only with non-equivalent groupsVarious elective procedures—Western Sydney Area Health Service12 surgeons
143 Pts
P, C, TAdministrative Data
  • Number of procedures performed

  • Operating time/discharge rate/length of stay

  • Waiting list length

  • Operating costs

  • Pt satisfaction

Sri-Ram et al (2005)32/UKOffering Pts a direct booking service, triage by surgeon, nurse-led preassessment in the day surgery unit; fit Pts offered an appointment within 4 weeksScope of use
Post-test only with non-equivalent groupsAll inguinal hernia services—the Whittington Hospital (London)Intervention: 74 Pts Control: 147 PtsP, C, TAdministrative Data
  • WT1: referral to first apt

  • WT2: from apt to surg

  • Total WT

  • Number of procedures performed

  • Pt acceptability

Vasilakis et al (2007)30/CanadaDiscrete event simulation to compare and assess two methods of scheduling Pts progressing towards surgeryScope of use
Discrete event simulationPts awaiting cardiac surgery at a tertiary hospital in BC92 PtsP, C, T Administrative data
  • WT1 (to apt)

  • WT2 (to surg)

  • Number of Pts waiting for apts

Bungard et al (2008)26/CanadaSingle point-of-entry intake and triage for tertiary care and multidisciplinary clinicScope of useDescriptiveCardiology consultations in Northern AlbertaNAP, C, TNA
  • NA

Cipriano et al (2008)27/CanadaDiscrete event simulation to evaluate the effects 4 waiting time management strategiesScope of use
Discrete event simulationOntario Joint Replacement Registry (Pts awaiting hip or knee replacement surgery)26 583 PtsPAdministrative data
  • WT2—from decision date to undertake surgery to date of surgery—tracked regionally

  • Proportion of Pts receiving surgery within benchmark

Bichel et al (2009)24/CanadaCentral access and triage processes across medical specialties, prioritisation tools, redesign of clinic process flowScope of use
Post-test only with non-equivalent groupsReferrals for various internal medicine subspecialties in Calgary, AlbertaNot reportedP, C, TAdministrative data
  • WT1: time to Apt

  • Acceptance of referrals by division (total number)

Bungard et al (2009)25/CanadaSingle point-of-entry intake service and multidisciplinary clinicScope of use
Simple pre/post with non-equivalent groupsCardiology consultations in Northern AlbertaIntervention: 3096 Pts
Control: 311 Pts
P, C, TAdministrative data
  • WT1 (to initial consultation)

  • WT2 (to definitive final diagnosis)

  • Number of new referrals

Macleod et al (2009)28/CanadaComprehensive model of care: single wait list, technology to support referral management, assessment services, education, self-management, treatment programmes and specialist careScope of use
DescriptivePts requiring hip or knee replacement surgery (Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network)Not reportedP, C, TAdministrative data
  • WT2—from decision date to undertake surgery to date of surgery

van den Heuvel (2012)29/CanadaHernia clinic based on a group model of care: centralised intake, triage by surgeon, common waiting listScope of use
Cross-sectionalPts who had hernia surgery at QEII in Halifax, Nova Scotia94 PtsP, C, TQuestionnaire
  • WT1: from referral to initial consult

  • Pt acceptability

  • Apt, appointment; BC, British Columbia; C, central intake; GP, general practitioner; NA, not available; P, pooled list; Pt, patient; surg, surgery; QEII, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre; T, triage; WT, waiting time; WT1, time from referral to initial consult; WT2, time from consult to surgery date.