Optimization of a Network of Queues in a University Teaching Hospital

Publication Date: 14/02/2020

Author(s): Nwankwo Chike H, George Ekemini U.

Volume/Issue: Volume 3 , Issue 1 (2020)


This paper is aimed at studying the waiting and service times of patients at the Medical Out-Patients Department (MOPD) of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria. The MOPD of the hospital consists of three Units – the Card Room Section, the Vital Signs Unit and the Consulting Rooms. There is a single-server-single-queue system at the Card Room; Two-server-single-queue at the Vital Signs Unit and a seven-parallel single-server queues at the Consulting Rooms. These, put together, form a network of queues. Apart from the inter-arrival times at the Card Room, the inter-arrival times at other sections as well as the service times in all followed distributions other than exponential, and these resulted in models that made use of approximation techniques. Different models were hypothesized at the Vital Signs Unit and the Consulting Rooms, and were combined to see which combination will be most effective at reducing the waiting times of patients in the MOPD. It was realized that a combination of a two-server-single-queue at the Vital Signs Unit and a seven-server-single-queue at the Consulting Room resulted in the least mean waiting times of patients in the MOPD, with the mean waiting time in the queue and in the system being 22 minutes, 15 seconds and 38 minutes, 18 seconds respectively.

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