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Case Study

How Aurora Implemented a Scheduling Wheel

20 Minute Read


The challenge

Aurora sought to expand access without expanding their number of providers. Between 2013 and 2015, they were slated to have 70 PCPs retire. To proactively address this, Aurora introduced a new scheduling infrastructure that prioritizes both organizational efficiency and physician buy-in.

The organization

Aurora Health Care is a private, integrated, not-for-profit 15-hospital system, operating more than 150 clinics across eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois with its team of 33,000 caregivers—including 1,800 employed physicians.

The approach

After completing a comprehensive sweep of their practice sites’ data and watching providers up close, Aurora designed a way to break up a physician’s day into a manageable, predictable workload through its scheduling wheel. Three unique templates provide physicians and APPs with a set number of patients they are to see per hour.

The results

In three years, the group saw more than 32,000 additional visits and a $4.7 million increase in total net medical revenue.



How Aurora designed and implemented its standardized “scheduling wheel”

Aurora Health Care outlined a scheduling template with a set number of visits per hour, with a protected administrative period at the end of each 60 minutes. This “scheduling wheel” offers Aurora’s physicians a predictable, standardized workflow with flexibility to account for miscellaneous tasks and patient visits that may run over time.


The three steps

Aurora reframed an urgent patient access challenge into an opportunity to radically overhaul its scheduling practice, in three moves.

  • Step

    Determine why group is inefficient

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  • Step

    Create a predictable day-to-day

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  • Step

    Establish critical mass for model

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Reaping benefits from the scheduling wheel

Two years following the introduction of the scheduling wheel in 2012, more than 100 providers were actively participating in the model. From 2012 to 2014, the new scheduling template yielded tremendous results across Aurora Health Care.


Increase in number of patients seen during office hours,
at one pilot site


Increase in total number of visits across the system


Increase in total net medical revenue across the system

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