The aim of this paper is, on the one hand, to describe the movement of patients through a hospital department by using classical queueing theory and, on the other hand, to present a way of optimising the use of hospital resources in order to improve hospital care. A queueing model is used to determine the main characteristics of the access of patients to hospital, such as mean bed occupancy and the probability that a demand for hospital care is lost because all beds are occupied. Moreover, we present a technique for optimising the number of beds in order to maintain an acceptable delay probability at a sufficiently low level and, finally, a way of optimising the average cost per day by balancing costs of empty beds against costs of delayed patients.
|Journal||Journal of the Operational Research Society|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - Jan 2002|