REDUCING THE QUEUE OF REFERRALS USING OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT - A CASE STUDY OF A DERMATOLOGY CLINIC
Paper i proceeding, 2005
We performed a study during a six month period at a dermatology clinic at a large teaching hospital. Our task was to analyse the patient flow and suggest ways to reduce the queue of referrals, through better utilization of existing recourses. To this aim, we applied manufacturing-based operations management techniques in three areas: capacity management, operations focus and reduction of variation. Our analysis revealed that the existing queue of referrals could be reduced with current resources after having implemented the suggested actions. Theoretically, it
should be possible to eliminate the queue of referrals in a seven to eight month period depending on how the clinic handle the follow-up visits created by the new first-time visits. Our conclusions focus on the reactions of medical staff to the usage of manufacturing-based improvement methods. We found that the usage of manufacturing concepts in a health care setting can create critical reaction by
employees. Explaining the purpose in a pedagogical way is one approach to reduce this criticism.
queue of referrals