In 2009, media coverage of long wait times in a local hospital brought considerable embarrassment to the state secretary of health. The hospital, located in a midsize European city, had the only emergency care facility in its metropolitan region. After the delays in care were brought to light, the secretary of health ordered the hospital's CEO to produce an action plan-and measurable progress-before the end of the month. But the CEO faced scarce resources and was already under pressure to reduce spending. What reforms should he make? Would he need to increase the emergency department's staff, and if so, how should he balance the costs? As this case explores the challenges of the healthcare industry, students learn to address questions of process mapping and operations.

Case id: 110204