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Question: the howard county hospital is assessing its emergency department ed...

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The Howard County Hospital is assessing its Emergency Department (ED) capacity so it knows how to expand as the county population grows. The hospital has the following information about the ED:







X-ray Technicians


Examination rooms


Trauma bays


On average, nurses need to spend 35 minutes with each patient that comes in. Additionally, physicians need to spend an average of 19 minutes with each patient. Each technician can X-ray up to 5 patients per hour. All patients have to go through the nurse, the physician and the X-ray. Thereafter, the patients are parsed into two categories: 20% of all patients that come into the ED are trauma victims that need to be placed in a trauma bay. The other 80% of the patients go into normal examination rooms. Each trauma patient spends an average of 30 minutes in a trauma bay before leaving the ED (usually then being admitted to the main part of the hospital), whereas non-trauma patients spend an average of 45 minutes in an examination room before leaving the ED. If the hospital wants to expand capacity, each resource must be added in whole unit increments.

Question 1

What is the capacity of the trauma bay in terms of incoming patient arrivals per hour to the emergency department? (choose the closest answer)

d. 40

e. 50

c. 30

a. 10

b. 20

Question 2

Which is the bottleneck resource?

a. Nurses

c. X-Ray

e. Examination Room

d. Trauma Bays

b. Physicians

Question 3

For the bottleneck resource that you identified above, what is the utilization of that resource?

a. Less than 100%

b. Greater than or equal to 100%

c. Cannot be determined from the data given

Question 4

If the ED wishes to serve 16 patients per hour, what is the minimum number of resources that need to be added (treat each additional nurse, physician, x-ray technician, trauma bay and examination room as one unit of resource)?

a. 0

e. 4

b. 1

c. 2

f. Cannot be determined from the data given

d. 3

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