Seminar: Queueing Models for Healthcare Capacity Planning

Title: Queueing Models for Healthcare Capacity Planning
Speaker: Peter T. Vanberkel
Affiliation: Department of Industrial Engineering, Dalhousie University
Date & Time: 3pm, Wednesday 7 March
Location: Room 303-310, Faculty of Science, University of Auckland.


In this seminar I will present two studies of capacity planning problems which we investigate using queueing theory. To foster collaboration, I will emphasize and discuss extensions and next steps.

In the first study, we develop queuing network models to determine the appropriate number of patients to be managed by a single oncologist. This is often referred to as a physician’s panel size. The key features that distinguish our study of oncology practices from other panel size models are high patient turnover rates, multiple patient and appointment types and follow-up care. The paper develops stationary and non-stationary queuing network models corresponding to stabilized and developing practices, respectively. These models are used to determine new patient arrival rates that ensure practices operate within certain performance thresholds. Extensions to this work are needed to account for collaborative practices where patients with co-morbidities are followed by multiple care providers.

In the second study, we investigate a novel Emergency Department (ED) replacement found in rural communities in Nova Scotia, Canada. Staffed by a paramedic and a registered nurse, and overseen by physician via telephone, Collaborative Emergency Centres (CECs) have replaced traditional physician-led EDs overnight. To determine if CECs are suitable in larger communities we model the flow of patients and analyze the resulting performance with Lindley’s recursion. The analysis, done with simulation, shows that a CECs success depends on the relationship between the demand for primary care appointments and the supply of primary care appointments. Furthermore, we show that larger communities can successfully use CECs but that there are diminishing returns. I’m interested in extending this work such that the analysis of Lindley’s recursion can be completed without simulation.

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