Better queue management in a busy public hospital of a developing country without appointment system: : an application using data envelopment analysis

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

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Authors

Komal Safdar

Abstract

Queuing is a key efficiency criterion in any service industry, including Healthcare. Almost all queue management studies are dedicated to improving an existing Appointment System. In developing countries such as Pakistan, there are no Appointment Systems for outpatients, resulting in excessive wait times. Additionally, excessive overloading, limited resources and cumbersome procedures lead to over-whelming queues. Despite numerous Healthcare applications, Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) has not been applied for queue assessment. The current study aims to extend DEA modelling and demonstrate its usefulness by evaluating the queue system of a busy public hospital in a developing country, Pakistan, where all outpatients are walk-in; along with construction of a dynamic framework dedicated towards the implementation of the model.

The inadequate allocation of doctors/personnel was observed as the most critical issue for long queues. Hence, the Queuing-DEA model has been developed such that it determines the ‘required’ number of doctors/personnel. The results indicated that given extensive wait times or length of queue, or both, led to high target values for doctors/personnel. Hence, this crucial information allows the administrators to ensure optimal staff utilization and controlling the queue pre-emptively, minimizing wait times.

The dynamic framework constructed, specifically targets practical implementation of the Queuing-DEA model in resource-poor public hospitals of developing countries such as Pakistan; to continuously monitor rapidly changing queue situation and display latest required personnel. Consequently, the wait times of subsequent patients can be minimized, along with dynamic staff scheduling in the absence of appointments. This dynamic framework has been designed in Excel, requiring minimal training and work for users and automatic update features, with complex technical aspects running in the background.

The proposed model and the dynamic framework has the potential to be applied in similar public hospitals, even in other developing countries, where appointment systems for outpatients are non-existent.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date23 Jun 2016

    Keywords

  • Queuing, Healthcare, Appointment System, Data Envelopment Analysis, Developing country

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