The National University Hospital: Overcrowding in the Emergency Department
(9 pages of text)
In June 2009, the new chief executive officer at the National University Hospital in Singapore had serious concerns about the hospital’s prolonged emergency department boarding time—the time between an emergency doctor’s decision to admit a patient and the patient’s occupation of a hospital bed. He knew that a prolonged boarding time was one of the leading factors contributing to emergency department overcrowding, which in turn hindered the delivery of high-quality medical care and compromised patient outcomes. The chief executive officer needed to decide what strategy the National University Hospital should adopt to reduce the prolonged emergency department boarding time and how the hospital should execute such a strategy.
The case is suitable for courses in operations management and service management at the undergraduate or graduate level. Students will gain skills in decision making to address operational issues and thereby achieve a high quality of service in the health-care sector. Specifically, the case can be used to give students an opportunity to
- use flowcharts to analyze the patient flow, and identify possible solutions;
- use scheduling to support in-patient operations management; and
- address resource management to achieve a maximum resource utilization rate (e.g., bed capacity allocation).
Health Care Services
Singapore, Large, 2009
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