Management of queues in out‐patient departments: the use of computer simulation

Limor Aharonson‐Daniel (Department of Community Medicine and Unit for Behavioural Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Ray J. Paul (Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK)
Anthony J. Hedley (Department of Community Medicine and Unit for Behavioural Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

Journal of Management in Medicine

ISSN: 0268-9235

Publication date: 1 December 1996

Abstract

Notes that patients attending public outpatient departments in Hong Kong spend a long time waiting for a short consultation, that clinics are congested and that both staff and patients are dissatisfied. Points out that experimentation of management changes in a busy clinical environment can be both expensive and difficult. Demonstrates computerized simulation modelling as a potential tool for clarifying processes occurring within such systems, improving clinic operation by suggesting possible answers to problems identified and evaluating the solutions, without interfering with the clinic routine. Adds that solutions can be implemented after they had proved to be successful on the model. Demonstrates some ways in which managers in health care facilities can benefit from the use of computerized simulation modelling. Specifically, shows the effect of changing the duration of consultation and the effect of the application of an appointment system on patients’ waiting time.

Keywords

Citation

Aharonson‐Daniel, L., Paul, R. and Hedley, A. (1996), "Management of queues in out‐patient departments: the use of computer simulation", Journal of Management in Medicine, Vol. 10 No. 6, pp. 50-58. https://doi.org/10.1108/02689239610153212

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Publisher

:

MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited

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