Still waiting on better wait times

Despite Canada spending nearly $200 billion on health care in 2011, recent studies like the 2012 Wait Time Alliance Report Card show efforts to improve hospital wait times have reached a plateau.

Next week, many of Canada’s leading health-care decision makers will team with cutting-edge queuing theorists (mathematicians studying waiting lines, or queues) at Western in an effort to address this debilitating dilemma and reinvigorate the ascent to better health-care service.

CanQueue 2012: Bringing Queue Models to Life, which runs Sept. 4-5 at Western Science Centre (Rooms 240 and 248), will provide leading authorities in all aspects of this topic an opportunity to meet, engage and initiate the development of implementable solutions to persistent wait time issues.

“Most efforts to improve wait times focus on creating more value for customers with fewer resources to eliminate inefficiencies in specific health care settings,” said David Stanford, a statistics and actuarial sciences professor in Western’s Faculty of Science and the co-chair of CanQueue 2012. “However, to achieve optimum wait times, decision makers need to possess an appreciation of congestion phenomena fundamentals like how randomness affects wait times and how to respond accordingly.”

Research topics to be explored over the two-day conference include queuing models for transplant wait times, scheduling MRI scans and routing of ambulances, the impact of flexibility in customer/patient choice on semi-pooled system wait times and queuing system models for ambulance offload delays.

Check out the complete schedule for more information.