The Institute of Medicine identified "timeliness" as one of six key "aims for improvement" in its most recent report on quality. Yet patient delays remain prevalent, resulting in dissatisfaction, adverse clinical consequences, and often, higher costs. This tutorial describes several areas in which patients routinely experience significant and potentially dangerous delays and presents operations research (OR) models that have been developed to help reduce these delays, often at little or no cost. I also describe the difficulties in developing and implementing models as well as the factors that increase the likelihood of success. Finally, I discuss the opportunities, large and small, forusing OR methodologies to significantly impact practices and policies that will affect timely access to healthcare.
Green, Linda. "Using operations research to reduce delays for healthcare." In Tutorials in Operations Research, 1-16. Ed. Zhi-Long Chan and S. Raghavan. Hanover, MD: INFORMS, 2008.
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