Fast-Track Queueing Models for Emergency Rooms
Hospital emergency room patients often experience lengthy delays while waiting for an open bed and treatment. Some patients become frustrated and leave without being seen, which results in lost hospital revenue. Hospital administrators are responding with the introduction of new protocols to improve response times. One popular protocol goes by the name of Fast-Track. This thesis focuses on proposing a mathematical model for Fast-Track and using a combination of mathematical theory and simulation to analyze system performance. Prior efforts to analyze system performance have been data driven and taken place after implementation. The work here is predictive in nature. Through the application of theory and simulations, we demonstrate that an appropriately implemented Fast-Track protocol can reduce the average wait times for certain classes of patients without significantly impacting the average wait for other patient classes. We also suggest a revised protocol involving a threshold for treating Fast-Track patients that seems to improve efficiency.