How to juggle priorities? An interactive tool to provide quantitative support for strategic patient-mix decisions: an ophthalmology case

Paul E. Joustra, Jesse de Wit, N.M. van Dijk, Piet J.M. Bakker

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An interactive tool was developed for the ophthalmology department of the Academic Medical Center to quantitatively support management with strategic patient-mix decisions. The tool enables management to alter the number of patients in various patient groups and to see the consequences in terms of key performance indicators. In our case study, we focused on the bottleneck: the operating room. First, we performed a literature review to identify all factors that influence an operating room's utilization rate. Next, we decided which factors were relevant to our study. For these relevant factors, two quantitative methods were applied to quantify the impact of an individual factor: regression analysis and computer simulation. Finally, the average duration of an operation, the number of cancellations due to overrun of previous surgeries, and the waiting time target for elective patients all turned out to have significant impact. Accordingly, for the case study, the interactive tool was shown to offer management quantitative decision support to act proactively to expected alterations in patient-mix. Hence,management can anticipate the future situation, and either alter the expected patient-mix or expand capacity to ensure that the key performance indicators will be met in the future.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)348-360
Number of pages13
JournalHealth care management science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Utilization rate
  • Regression analysis
  • Waiting lists
  • Computer Simulation
  • EWI-23665
  • IR-87159
  • Operating room

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