Linda Green

“Queueing analysis in healthcare”

Editors: Randolph W. Hall


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Many organizations, such as banks, airlines, telecommunications companies, and police departments, routinely use queueing models to help determine capacity levels needed to respond to experienced demands in a timely fashion. Though queueing analysis has been used in hospitals and other healthcare settings, its use in this sector is not widespread. Yet, given the pervasiveness of delays in healthcare and the fact that many healthcare facilities are trying to meet increasing demands with tightly constrained resources, queueing models can be very useful in developing more effective policies for bed allocation and staffing, and in identifying other opportunities for improving service. Queueing analysis is also a key tool in estimating capacity requirements for possible future scenarios, including demand surges due to new diseases or acts of terrorism. This chapter describes basic queueing models as well as some simple modifications and extensions that are particularly useful in the healthcare setting, and give examples of their use. The critical issue of data requirements is also be discussed as well as model choice, model-building and the interpretation and use of results.

Source: Patient flow: Reducing delay in healthcare delivery
Exact Citation:
Green, Linda. "Queueing analysis in healthcare." In Patient flow: Reducing delay in healthcare delivery, 281-307. Ed. Randolph W. Hall. New York: Springer-Verlag, 2006.
Pages: 281-307
Place: New York
Date: 2006