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Modelling for the planning and management of bed capacities in hospitals

Harper, Paul Robert and Shahani, A. K. 2002. Modelling for the planning and management of bed capacities in hospitals. Journal of the Operational Research Society 53 (1) , pp. 11-18. 10.1057/palgrave.jors.2601278

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The internal dynamics of a hospital represent a complex non-linear structure. Planning and management of bed capacities must be evaluated within an environment of uncertainty, variability and limited resources. A common approach is to plan and manage capacities based on simple deterministic spreadsheet calculations. This paper demonstrates that these calculations typically do not provide the appropriate information and result in underestimating true bed requirements. More sophisticated, flexible and necessarily detailed capacity models are needed. The development and use of such a simulation model is presented in this paper. The modelling work, in conjunction with a major UK NHS Trust, considers various types of patient flows, at the individual patient level, and resulting bed needs over time. The consequence of changes in capacity planning policies and management of existing capacities can be readily examined. The work has highlighted the need for evaluating hospital bed capacities in light of both bed occupancies and refused admission rates. The relationship between occupancy and refusals is complex and often overlooked by hospital managers.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Mathematics
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: hospital bed planning, hospital bed allocation, operational modelling, simulation
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISSN: 0160-5682
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:46

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