Pediatric Hospital Medicine 2012

Heathcare Operations Management Toolkit: Understanding and Improving Operations in the Face of Variation
Evan Fieldston, Michael Apkon
At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the type of operational challenges they are facing in their healthcare delivery setting;
  2. Select and apply the appropriate tool for the challenge
  3. Understand the definition, applications, and limits of each tool.

Clinicians, healthcare administrators, and planners are continuously challenged to enhance access to care and quality in the face of constrained resources. Variation in the demand for services and variation in time to provide the service for patients compromise optimal use of scarce resources, particularly in hospital settings. As a result, queues, delays, disruptions, or denials are often experienced. Operations management, used widely in other high-reliability industries, offers insights into optimization in the face of variation and resource constraints. This session will explore the impact of variation on hospital operations and help participants recognize tools for analysis of commonly-encountered operational challenges. The session will assist participants in identifying the challenge(s) they face and describe applications of queuing models, linear programming, and discrete-event simulation. Typical applications will be discussed including bed capacity planning, scheduling, and staffing.




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