Title: A simulation-based study for managing hospital emergency department's capacity in extreme events

Authors: Nan Xiao; Raj Sharman; H.R. Rao; Sumant Dutta

Addresses: Department of Management Science and Systems, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA. ' Department of Management Science and Systems, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA. ' Department of Management Science and Systems, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA; Department of SSME, Sogang University, Shinsu-dong 1, Mapo-gu, Seoul 121-742, Korea. ' Department of Management Science and Systems, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA

Abstract: Hospital emergency departments| capacities to deal with a patient surge play an important role in preparedness for natural or man-made disasters. This paper examines how emergency departments in healthcare facilities could optimise the workflow during extreme events when there is a patient surge. This paper proposes a framework to reconfigure the workflow while maintaining treatment equality. Our results show that reorganising lower priority work processes and relocating the resources associated with those processes can shorten total waiting time in the emergency department, allowing better management of patient flows.

Keywords: emergency departments; extreme events; discrete-event simulation; patient surges; health services; hospitals; New York; USA; United States; preparedness; natural disasters; man-made disasters; disaster management; emergency management; healthcare facilities; workflow optimisation; workflow reconfiguration; treatment equality; medical treatment; lower priority work processes; work process reorganisation; resource relocation; waiting times; patient flows; flow management; business excellence.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBEX.2012.044578

International Journal of Business Excellence, 2012 Vol.5 No.1/2, pp.140 - 154

Available online: 29 Dec 2011 *

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