Admission and capacity planning for the implementation of one-stop-shop in skin cancer treatment using simulation-based optimization
Health Care Management Science
Romero, H. L., Dellaert, N. P., Geer, S., Frunt, M., Jansen-Vullers, M. H., & Krekels, G. A. M. (2013). Admission and capacity planning for the implementation of one-stop-shop in skin cancer treatment using simulation-based optimization. [Journal Article]. Health Care Management Science, 16(1), 75-86. doi: 10.1007/s10729-012-9213-z
Hospitals and health care institutions are facing the challenge of improving the quality of their services while reducing their costs. The current study presents the application of operations management practices in a dermatology oncology outpatient clinic specialized in skin cancer treatment. An interesting alternative considered by the clinic is the implementation of a one-stop-shop concept for the treatment of new patients diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma. This alternative proposes a significant improvement in the average waiting time that a patient spends between the diagnosis and treatment. This study is focused on the identification of factors that influence the average throughput time of patients treated in the clinic from the logistic perspective. A two-phase approach was followed to achieve the goals stated in this study. The first phase included an integrated approach for the deterministic analysis of the capacity using a demand-supply model for the hospital processes, while the second phase involved the development of a simulation model to include variability to the activities involved in the process and to evaluate different scenarios. Results showed that by managing three factors: the admission rule, resources allocation and capacity planning in the dermato-oncology unit throughput times for treatments of new patients can be decreased with more than 90 %, even with the same resource level. Finally, a pilot study with 16 patients was also conducted to evaluate the impact of implementing the one stop shop concept from a clinical perspective. Patients turned out to be satisfied with the fast diagnosis and treatment.