Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Examining queuing theory and the application of Erlang-C to improve productivity and quality in central sterile supply
by Casati, Nicolas M., D.B.A., Argosy University/Seattle, 2012, 191; 3587492
Abstract (Summary)

This research investigated a queuing theory known as Erlang-C and its applicability in its use in central sterile supply. Erlang-C was used to calculate human resource needs in real time to encourage effectiveness in preparing trays for surgery. No consistent way of organizing tray preparation for surgery in a hospital currently exists. Efficiency in preparing trays is the goal of this study. Once surgical instruments are used, they need to be organized in sterilizable trays by a sterile processing technician before being sterilized. This study examines the actual versus the predicted output. The current situation can be described in three parts. First, there is no existing system to mathematically define the process of quality when preparing a surgical tray. There is no currently existing system to describe what theoretical productivity (benchmark) in tray preparation consists of. There is no currently existing system to describe how many technicians are needed to complete the surgical trays necessary for one day of surgery. There are several different types of sterilizable trays and the number and complexity of instruments in each of these types of containers (small, medium or large) varies. The current process is facilitated by a program called ABACUS with VIA Embedded softwareâ„¢ which provides information to the technician about which instrument to inspect and in what order. The proposed process could easily be integrated into the ABACUS system. This dissertation should improve both quality and productivity to address the three following points: 1) To improve quality, for which new parameters are added called instrument inspection specifications or instrument characteristics (lumen, traction surface, box lock, recess and handling time) introduced to describe what should be inspected during tray preparation (these instrument inspection specifications were assigned an ancillary number of seconds of inspection time for each specific feature of the instrument), 2) A new definition for trays is proposed based on the number of instruments and characteristics per tray (small trays are defined as having between 0 and 18 box locks, medium trays 18 to 75 box locks per tray and large trays 75 to 161 box locks) 3) To optimize manpower, Erlang-C queuing system was used as a simulation tool to describe the needs measured in number of technicians per type of tray per half hour. Further improvement to the Erlang program would be required to generate data for a full day of surgery.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Castaneda, Robert, Delsey, Jean
Commitee: Demetriades, Elias
School: Argosy University/Seattle
Department: School of Business
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: DAI-A 74/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Business administration, Health care management
Keywords: Central sterile supply, Erlang-C, Productivity, Quality, Queuing theory, Sterile processing department
Publication Number: 3587492
ISBN: 978-1-303-24767-5
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