Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
CORMSIS Centre for Operational Research, Management Sciences and Information Systems

CORMSIS Seminar - Emergency department waiting times: a field study Event

11:00 - 12:00
29 June 2016
Room 5033 Building 2, Southampton Business School

For more information regarding this event, please email Dr Yuan Huang at .

Event details

It has been an increasing challenge for emergency departments (EDs) in England to meet the four-hour standard set by the National Health Service (NHS). In 2015/2016, the standard has been generally missed according to the NHS statistics. As a result, ED waiting times and causes of delay have attracted significant national attention. This talk provides a rare insight into the day-to-day practice of an ED in England based on an in-depth field study. The study has two core objectives: firstly, to diagnose the problems of extensive delays in the department; secondly, to design an approach that potentially reduces waiting time which is the delay to be seen by doctors. An integrated PITSTOP process, combining ‘triage’, ‘taking a blood sample’, and ‘early assessment by consultants’, is proposed to control waiting time (e.g., within 30 minutes), and eliminate duplicated activities and unnecessary queues. The talk will be mainly focused on the influence of having a senior consultant led PITSTOP team on the throughput times of patients in a crowded environment. The qualitative and quantitative advantages of having such an integrated team will be explained. Furthermore, demand-capacity match will be discussed, i.e. the distribution of resources over the day regarding the demand. Lastly, the preliminary results of a comparison between four Dutch hospitals and the UK hospital, and the consequences will be discussed. The Emergency departments of the hospitals are compared using throughput diagrams.

Speaker information

Luuk Heuvelink,University of Groningen,Luuk is currently approaching the end of his master study in Industrial Engineering and Management at the University of Groningen, Netherlands. As part of the MSc thesis, Luuk spent four months in an ED in England for an empirical-based design project where a close observation, interviews, and interactions with key personnel in the department were involved. The project was a successful case of joint work among University of Groningen, University of Southampton, and the ED. Luuk played a critical role in the success in terms of knowledge transfer and effective engagement with a rather complex practical environment. The study has achieved an outstanding grade.

Privacy Settings