An analysis of the patient demand pattern and the capacity planning for a colorectal cancer screening trial, by Femke de Langen (with Elkerliek Hospital)
June 8, 2013
This report contains the results of a research conducted at the endoscopic department of the Elkerliek Hospital to identify the effects of implementing a colorectal cancer screening trial. The report consists of two parts. First, the patient demand pattern resulting from the screening trial is analyzed. Second, the optimal capacity planning for the endoscopic department is determined. The demand pattern analysis is executed with the help of a System Dynamics model. The developed model is used to gain recommendations about the optimal set-up of the screening trial. The results show that inviting the participants of a period of eighteen months and inviting the participants according to a weekly schedule will result in the most stable demand pattern. In the second part, a weekly planning policy has been created by modeling the planning process as a Markov Decision Process. Finally, the developed Markov Decision Process is used to see the effect of different cost parameters to derive the optimal capacity allocation. The main conclusion of the report is that in some situations the maximum capacity available for the screening trial does not seem to be sufficient enough to cope with the demand.