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Article

Creating Short-Term Volume Flexibility in Healthcare Capacity Management

1
Department of Pediatric Anesthesiology, Intensive Care and Neonatology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, 413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden
2
Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
3
Department of Engineering Science, University West, 461 86 Trollhättan, Sweden
4
Department of Business Administration, University of Gothenburg, Box 100, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8514; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228514
Received: 29 September 2020 / Revised: 28 October 2020 / Accepted: 11 November 2020 / Published: 17 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deployment of Industrial Management Methods for Healthcare Services)
It is well-known that unpredictable variations in supply and demand of capacity in healthcare systems create the need for flexibility. The main tools used to create short-term volume flexibility in the healthcare system include overtime, temporary staff from internal calling lists, moving staff across units, internal staffing pools, external staffing agencies, queuing patients, and purchasing care from external providers. We study the creation of short-term volume flexibility in healthcare systems to manage short-term capacity losses and demand fluctuations. A questionnaire was developed and distributed among healthcare managers in the Region Västra Götaland healthcare system. Respondents were asked to what extent they used each tool to create short-term flexibility in capacity. Data were analyzed using multiple regression analysis. Several significant tendencies were found, including that acute units use overtime and internal staffing pools to a larger extent, and queuing patients and external providers to a lesser extent than planned units. The prerequisites and required managerial approaches used to efficiently manage aggregate capacity in the system differ substantially between different parts of the system. These differences must be addressed when, for example, capacity pools are considered. These results serve as a stepping stone towards a more thorough understanding of efficient capacity management in healthcare systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: healthcare management; volume flexibility; capacity planning; Swedish healthcare healthcare management; volume flexibility; capacity planning; Swedish healthcare
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fagefors, C.; Lantz, B.; Rosén, P. Creating Short-Term Volume Flexibility in Healthcare Capacity Management. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8514. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228514

AMA Style

Fagefors C, Lantz B, Rosén P. Creating Short-Term Volume Flexibility in Healthcare Capacity Management. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(22):8514. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228514

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fagefors, Carina, Björn Lantz, and Peter Rosén. 2020. "Creating Short-Term Volume Flexibility in Healthcare Capacity Management" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 22: 8514. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228514

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