Here’s something we prepared earlier: Development, use and reuse of a configurable, inter-disciplinary approach for tackling overcrowding in NHS hospitals

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Abstract

Overcrowding affects hospital emergency departments (ED) worldwide. Most OR studies addressing overcrowding develop bespoke models to explore potential improvements but ignore the organisational context in which they would be implemented, and few influence practice. There is interest in whether reusable models, for ED crowding and in healthcare generally, could have more impact. We developed a configurable approach for tackling ED overcrowding. A reusable queuing model for exploring drivers of ED performance was augmented by a qualitative approach for exploring the implementation context and a generic framework for assessing the likely compatibility of interventions with a given organisation. At the hospital where the approach was developed it directly informed strategy. We describe reuse of the approach at three hospitals. One project was completed and well-received by hospital management, two were terminated partway when data problems surfaced. The primary contribution of this work is its novelty in considering, alongside quantitative modelling, evidence-based interventions to overcrowding and qualitative assessment of a hospital’s aptitude and capability to adopt different interventions. A secondary contribution is to further the debate on model reuse, particularly by introducing more complex, modelling-centred approaches that acknowledge how models must relate to tangible interventions with reasonable prospects of being adopted locally.

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Crowe, S., Grieco, L., Monks, T., Keogh, B., Penn, M., Clancy, M., … Utley, M. (2023). Here’s something we prepared earlier: Development, use and reuse of a configurable, inter-disciplinary approach for tackling overcrowding in NHS hospitals. Journal of the Operational Research Society. https://doi.org/10.1080/01605682.2023.2199094

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