The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/cc10217) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
This article is part of a series on Healthcare Delivery, edited by Dr Andre Amaral and Dr Gordon Rubenfeld.
CT receives book royalty payments from McGraw-Hill Publishers. DKC and JMK declare that they have no competing interests.
As your hospital's ICU director, you are approached by the hospital's administration to help solve ongoing problems with ICU bed availability. The ICU seems to be constantly full, and trauma patients in the emergency department sometimes wait up to 24 hours before receiving a bed. Additionally, the cardiac surgeons were forced to cancel several elective coronary-artery bypass graft cases because there was not a bed available for postoperative recovery. The hospital administrators ask whether you can decrease your ICU length of stay, and wonder whether they should expand the ICU to include more beds For help in understanding and optimizing your ICU's throughput, you seek out the operations management researchers at your university.
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- Working with capacity limitations: operations management in critical care
Jeremy M Kahn
- BioMed Central
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