Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period

12-14-2015

Degree Program

Industrial Engineering & Operations Research

Degree Type

Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (M.S.I.E.O.R.)

Year Degree Awarded

2016

Month Degree Awarded

February

Abstract

This thesis study evaluates access to care at an internal medicine unit with solely semi-private rooms at Baystate Medical Center (BMC). Patients are divided into two types: Type I patient consumes one bed; Type II patient occupies two beds or an entire semi-private room as a private space for clinical reasons, resulting in one empty but unavailable (blocked) bed per Type II patient. Because little data is available on blocked beds and Type II patients, unit-level hospital bed planning studies that consider blocked beds have been lacking. This thesis study bridges that gap by building a single-stream and a two-stream discrete micro-simulation model in Excel VBA to describe unit-level bed queue dynamics at hourly granularity in the next 48-hour time horizon, using historical arrival rates and census-dependent discharge rates, supplemented with qualitative results on complexity of patient-level discharge prediction. Results showed that while we increase additional semiprivate beds, there was notable difference between the traditional single-stream model and the two-stream model concerning improvement in bed queue size. Possible directions for future research include patient-level discharge prediction considering both clinical and nonclinical milestones, and strategic redesign of hospital unit(s) considering overflows and internal transfers.

First Advisor

Hari Balasubramanian

Second Advisor

Joan Roche

Third Advisor

Chaitra Gopalappa

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