Capacity pooling in healthcare systems – results from a mixed methods study
Paper i proceeding, 2019

In this paper, we examine how pooling – a theoretically based strategy for capacity planning – can be used to create a higher service level at a given total capacity in the healthcare sector. The purpose of the study is to explore the practical obstacles for such a strategy in healthcare systems.
A mixed methods approach was employed, where interviews were conducted with specialty department managers at Sahlgrenska University Hospital to identify perceived obstacles forcapacity pooling. Based on the results, a questionnaire was developed and distributed among managers in the Region Västra Götaland healthcare system. Data were analysed with a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and an explorative principal component analysis (PCA).
Six different categories of potential obstacles for capacity pooling were identified during the interviews, namely competence, geography, culture, system, planning, and recruitment. These categories could not be confirmed by the CFA, but in the PCA we instead identified four obstacles for capacity pooling that were similar to the factors in the interview study. These were; threshold heights, community view, recruitment difficulties and physical distance.
Practical implications:
We conclude this study with presenting four obstacles to use capacity pools in the healthcare sector. These obstacles should be considered in order to introduce capacity pooling successfully in the healthcare system.
While there are some previous research results in the literature regarding capacity pooling in healthcare systems, they are typically anecdotal and descriptive. This is the first attempt to provide a systematic overview that could generate generalizable results.

Capacity planning

healthcare management

capacity pooling

mixed methods


Carina Fagefors

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Innovation and R&D Management

Björn Lantz

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Innovation and R&D Management

Peter Rosén

Göteborgs universitet

Levi Siljemyr

Västra Götalandsregionen

The 31st Annual NOFOMA Conference: Supply Chain Designs and Sustainable Development of Societies


31st Annual NOFOMA Conference
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Poolning av kapacitet i sjukvårdssystem

Jan Wallanders och Tom Hedelius stiftelse, 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.


Transportteknik och logistik



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