Modeling the Behavior of Patients Who Leave the Emergency Department Without Being Seen by a Physician
The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business
University of Auckland
Jennifer L. Wiler
University of Colorado at Denver
April 1, 2014
Chicago Booth Research Paper No. 12-14
We present an empirical study of an emergency department in which patients may leave the waiting area without being seen by a physician (LWBS patients). Using operational data from a hospital emergency department, we show that both time and number of patients in the waiting area significantly increase a patient’s LWBS probability. These factors interact with each other in a non-linear fashion. In addition to these two factors, we show that observed service rate affects LWBS probability, where the magnitude of its effect depends on waiting time. As waiting time increases, higher observed service rates may encourage patients to wait. We also examine the shape of the hazard rate curves for LWBS behavior. We use these findings to draw insights into modeling LWBS behavior. We discuss the state-of-the art for existing queueing and simulation models of abandonment and translate how our findings affect the utility of these models; the results point to the need for further model development.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33
Keywords: Healthcare operations, empirical study, abandonment, Left Without Being Seen, EDworking papers series
Date posted: April 23, 2014
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