Modeling the emergency cardiac in-patient flow: an application of queuing theoryReport as inadecuate

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Health Care Management Science

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 125–137

First Online: 20 April 2007Received: 20 July 2006Accepted: 16 October 2006


This study investigates the bottlenecks in the emergency care chain of cardiac in-patient flow. The primary goal is to determine the optimal bed allocation over the care chain given a maximum number of refused admissions. Another objective is to provide deeper insight in the relation between natural variation in arrivals and length of stay and occupancy rates. The strong focus on raising occupancy rates of hospital management is unrealistic and counterproductive. Economies of scale cannot be neglected. An important result is that refused admissions at the First Cardiac Aid FCA are primarily caused by unavailability of beds downstream the care chain. Both variability in LOS and fluctuations in arrivals result in large workload variations. Techniques from operations research were successfully used to describe the complexity and dynamics of emergency in-patient flow.

KeywordsLength of stay Capacity management Queuing theory Occupancy rate Emergency patient flow  Download to read the full article text

Author: Arnoud M. de Bruin - A. C. van Rossum - M. C. Visser - G. M. Koole



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