Physician and Resident Staffing In An Academic Emergency Department
Rising demands and market competition have forced many emergency departments to improve their quality of service. This improvement is usually achieved at the cost of increasing resources in the emergency department in order to increase the patient satisfaction.
This research deals in part with both problems, i.e., increasing patient satisfaction and keeping costs in the ED to a minimum. The research has schedules designed on the patient contacts for physicians and residents in the academic emergency department at York hospital such that the resource costs and patient waiting costs are kept at a minimum. The emergency department is simulated using Arena 7.0 and the minimum cost objective is achieved by running OptQuest for Arena to get the near optimal number of staff working the designed schedules in order to achieve the objective.
Efficiently scheduling doctors and residents resulted in waiting cost reductions of almost 80%. There was also an increase in patient satisfaction, considering the time taken by patients to see a doctor or resident for the first time. The time was reduced by 33% for critical patients and was reduced by almost 29% for intermediate care patients with the schedules designed herein.