Hospital capacity management based on the queueing theory

Otavio Bittencourt, Vedat Verter, Morty Yalovsky
  • International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, February 2018, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/ijppm-12-2015-0193

Contributions of queueing theory to hospital capacity management.

What is it about?

Queueing theory is the mathematical study of any system that have someone or something performing a work and a customer or an object to be served. The queueing models create a representation of those systems using general assumptions and concepts. An hospital ward unit is a system where the capacity can be studied taking into account the patient demand, number of beds, and length of stay. The models outcomes provide information for making business decisions to improve organizational performance and deal with increased demand in the healthcare sector.

Why is it important?

Irrespective of the findings of the queueing model, the results showed that there is room for improvement in capacity management. Balancing admissions and the type of patient over the week represent a possible solution to optimize bed and nurse utilization. Patient mixing results in a highly sensitive delay rate due to length of stay (LOS) variability, with variations in both the utilization rate and the number of beds.


Otavio Bittencourt (Author)
Universidade Federal de Ciencias da Saude de Porto Alegre

The queueing theory revealed a quantitative portrait of the day-by-day reality in a fast and flexible manner which is very convenient to the task of management.

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The following have contributed to this page: Otavio Bittencourt