Hospital corridor

The Effects of Discrete Work Shifts on a Nonterminating Service System

The Effects of Discrete Work Shifts on a Nonterminating Service System

Hospital emergency departments (EDs) provide around‐the‐clock medical care, and as such are generally modeled as nonterminating queues. However, from the care provider's point of view, ED care is not a never‐ending process, but rather occurs in discrete work shifts and may require passing unfinished work to the next care provider at the end of the shift. HIP Investigator, Dr. Brian Patterson et al. used data from a large, academic medical center Emergency Department to show that the patients’ rate of service completion varies over the course of the physician shift. Furthermore, patients that have experienced a physician handoff have a higher rate of service completion than nonhanded off patients.

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