Deployment or distribution of valuable medical resources has emerged as an increasing challenge to hospital administrators and health policy makers. The hospital emergency department (HED) census and workload can be highly variable. Improvement of emergency services is an important stage in the development of the healthcare system and research on the optimal deployment of medical resources appears to be an important issue for HED long-term management. HED performance, in terms of patient flow and available resources, can be studied using the queue-based approach. The kernel point of this research is to approach the optimal cost on logistics using queuing theory. To model the proposed approach for a qualitative profile, a generic HED system is mapped into the M/M/R/N queue-based model, which assumes an R-server queuing system with Poisson arrivals, exponentially distributed service times and a system capacity of N. A comprehensive quantitative mathematical analysis on the cost pattern was done, while relevant simulations were also conducted to validate the proposed optimization model. The design illustration is presented in this paper to demonstrate the application scenario in a HED platform. Hence, the proposed approach provides a feasibly cost-oriented decision support framework to adapt a HED management requirement.
- hospital emergency department
- queuing theory
- decision support
- cost optimization