Date of Award

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.Sc.

Department

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Pasek, Zbigniew (Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering)

Keywords

Engineering, Industrial.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

This thesis presents results of a study conducted jointly with a regional hospital and concerned with the inpatient discharge process. A thorough mapping of the existing process flow and analysis of 1700 historical cases were conducted. Results revealed that in its current form the process is inadequately defined, lacks consistency, and its performance is hard to predict. These issues cause inpatient overstays past their prescribed acute care (so called Alternative Level of Care, or ALC days) and thus at least 8% of available hospital bed capacity is wasted. Key factors extending unnecessary patient stays were identified and used as predictors for individual patients. Another simulation model was created to explore the effects of standardizing parts of the discharge process. Obtained results indicate that organizational changes (e.g., early involvement of social workers, improved information flow, close collaboration with external facilities accepting patients, etc.) will lead to process improvement and substantial economic benefits.

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