An Optimized Queue Management System to Improve Patient Flow in the Absence of Appointment System


PURPOSE: The aim of this research study is to develop a queue assessment model to evaluate the inflow of walk-in outpatients in a busy public hospital of an emerging economy, in the absence of appointment systems, and construct a dynamic framework dedicated towards the practical implementation of the proposed model, for continuous monitoring of the queue system. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: The current study utilizes data envelopment analysis (DEA) to develop a combined queuing-DEA model as applied to evaluate the wait times of patients, within different stages of the outpatients' department at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Lahore, Pakistan, over a period of seven weeks (23rd April to 28th May 2014). The number of doctors/personnel and consultation time were considered as outputs, where consultation time was the non-discretionary output. The two inputs were wait time and length of queue. Additionally, VBA programming in Excel has been utilized to develop the dynamic framework for continuous queue monitoring. FINDINGS: The inadequate availability of personnel was observed as the critical issue for long wait times, along with overcrowding and variable arrival pattern of walk-in patients. The DEA model displayed the "required" number of personnel, corresponding to different wait times, indicating queue build-up. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: The current study develops a queue evaluation model for a busy outpatients' department in a public hospital, where "all" patients are walk-in and no appointment systems. This model provides vital information in the form of "required" number of personnel which allows the administrators to control the queue pre-emptively minimizing wait times, with optimal yet dynamic staff allocation. Additionally, the dynamic framework specifically targets practical implementation in resource-poor public hospitals of emerging economies for continuous queue monitoring.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Operations & Information Management
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Aston India Foundation for Applied Research
Additional Information: © 2020 Emerald Publishing. This AAM is deposited under the CC BY-NC 4.0 licence. Any reuse is allowed in accordance with the terms outlined by the licence. To reuse the AAM for commercial purposes, permission should be sought by contacting
Uncontrolled Keywords: Absence of appointment system,Data envelopment analysis,Developing economy,Public health system,Queuing theory,Waiting time,Business, Management and Accounting(all),Health Policy
Publication ISSN: 1758-6542
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2024 07:16
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2020 12:38
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Related URLs: https://www.eme ... -0052/full/html (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2020-11-13
Published Online Date: 2020-11-13
Accepted Date: 2020-10-01
Authors: Safdar, Komal
Emrouznejad, Ali (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-8094-4244)
Dey, Prasanta (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-9984-5374)


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