Zhaoqi Liu (Simon)
What operational problems is the Saintemarie Emergency Department facing? What is your
assessment of the current performance and what do you think is driving these problems?
Through a back-of-the-envelope calculation, evaluate the average time that patients wait before
entering the care process. To do so, view the patient management activities and discharge as a single
activity. How does the result of your calculation compare to the 1 hour and 10 minutes mentioned in
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The operational problems that the Emergency Department faces are mainly on three aspects.
Firstly, the department is unable to handle acute emergencies in a timely manner. For instance, as
mentioned in the text, only two-third of degree-2 patients were seen by a doctor within the established
maximum waiting time of 20 minutes. This in turn causes patients leaving the hospital without being seen
by doctors. Secondly, there are not sufficient facilities as well as doctors and nurses in the department. For
example, there is only one CT machine which is not enough as indicated in the article. And the lack of
resources even drags down the morale as doctors shift the responsibilities to technical staffs while the
later shifts it to the nurses.
Couple of the drivers are identified. Firstly, as briefly discussed above, the lack of facilities and
the proper distribution of resources. For instance, the one CT machine slows down the process. Another
example can be putting all the outpatients (who originally belonged to orange and green path) into the red
paths, which takes up the rooms for acute patients.
Besides, because 40% of the cases, doctors required laboratory tests to establish diagnosis which results
in the implement of the central laboratories. With this central control, it definitely reduces the costs and