Improving Efficiency in Allocating Pediatric Ambulatory Care Clinics
Haraldsson, Haraldur Hrannar
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Low utilized resources is a common problem in the health care sector. As health care costs and the need for more efficient operations increases, managers are looking for new methods to increase the utilization of their resources. At Seattle Children's Hospital in Seattle, managers of the outpatient pediatric ambulatory care clinic are experiencing low utilization of their clinic rooms, while not being able to meet the demand for rooms from the specialty clinics. In this thesis I present a new optimization model for allocating generally equipped clinic rooms to specialty clinics. The new optimization model increases the utilization of clinic rooms; using fewer rooms than before to meet the demand. A discrete-event simulation is used to investigate the impact of randomness and to evaluate and compare the performance and behavior of the current allocation method and the proposed allocation method. The optimization and simulation model were tested on data provided by the outpatient ambulatory care clinic at Seattle Children's Hospital. In the test case, the number of required rooms to meet the provider's schedule was significantly reduced.