Mobile Blood Donor Clinic: A Discrete Event Simulation Model
(4 pages of text)
Case (Gen Exp)
In 2017, while donating blood on campus, a management science graduate student noticed that the mobile blood donor clinic set up at his university’s community centre was a congested tandem queuing system. Finding one-and-one-half hours too long for donors to wait, the student considered how the process could be reduced by at least half an hour. He needed to devise a reasonably precise model to represent the donor flow in the clinic. Using either the mode or the average service times supplied by the nurses, the student could build a relatively straightforward discrete-event simulation model to identify bottlenecks and improve the donor flow.
This case is suitable for undergraduate classes in honours business administration or for MSc and MBA simulation courses. Previous knowledge of basic statistical distributions and formulas in Microsoft Excel is required for the case. This case provides an introduction to basic queuing theory, bottleneck analysis, and discrete-event simulation models. After completion of the case, students will be able to
- explain basic queuing theory;
- create a simple discrete-event simulation model;
- analyze bottlenecks identified in the simulation model; and
- propose changes to reduce bottlenecks in the simulation model.
Health Care Services
Canada, Small, 2017
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