Sunday, February 9, 2014

Focus and Leverage Part 305

In my last posting (Focus and Leverage Part 304) I presented the basics of queuing theory as part of a training slide deck I had been preparing.  In this posting, I want to talk about where and how queuing theory can be used and then direct you to a free Excel package that will make it easy to calculate some of the more important elements of queuing theory in healthcare.

The uses of queuing analysis and simulation in healthcare are endless as depicted in the following examples:
  • Walk-in patients in hospital clinics
  • Emergency room arrivals
  • Outpatient clinics and outpatient surgeries
  • Planning for disaster management
  • Patients arriving for innoculations
The key equation for queuing, as presented in my last posting is:

  ρ = λ / (c * μ)


  Ρ = utilization

  λ = arrival rate

  c = number of services

  μ = service rate per server

By obtaining estimates of actual arrival and service rates and knowing the number of services in the system, we can easily calculate the utilization of the system.  Here's a site which has an Excel calculator on queuing theory which describes in detail how to make numerous calculations for various elements using the basics of the above equation.   Rather than me writing about everything available on this site, just type it into Google and it will take you to the site.  It includes great examples of how queuing theory can be used.

Infinite Queue - Johnson Graduate School of Management

Bob Sproull



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