Over the years, the growing population in British Columbia has lead to escalating wait-times and overcrowding in hospital Emergency Departments (EDs), due to insufficient number of beds in specific units of the hospital, such as the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or the Medical Unit (MU). To enhance the level of access to care, a successful prediction of bed requirements is needed. This is achieved by having an adequate model of the patient flows to and between the different compartments of the hospital. Focusing only on the stream of emergency patients, we developed a queueing network model of the interaction between the ICU and the MU, which is believed to be causing a major proportion of the congestion in the ED. Through approximate analytical methods and simulation, we determined sufficient bed counts in each of these two units so as to guarantee certain access standards.
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