This is an interesting development in medicine . . . "open access" to health care!
Apparently a doctor in Worcester (Dennis Dimitri) has been doing this in his private practice for four years and it seems to work great! A patient gets an appointment the same day based on a first-call, first-appointment system. There are pre-scheduled appointments, too, but there are also folks who can just walk in! The appointments are alittle longer than the traditional 10-minute slot and the reports are that patient satisfaction rises with this open access system in place.
It's an idea that was presented by the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (whose head, Dr. Donald Berwick, now oversees the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), apparently pioneered by Kaiser Permanente many years ago. Less than 20% of practices use mostly same-day appointments.
Anyway, just another thing to "put in the hopper" in looking at health care and what works best for both patient and providers.