Queuing Theory and Ideal Hospital Occupancy


Professor Peter Taylor

Department of Mathematics & Statistics, University of Melbourne

In a 2004 report “Access block and overcrowding in emergency departments”, the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine made the statement:

 Queuing theory developed by Erlang nearly 100 years ago tells us that systems are most efficient when they operate at 85% capacity. This applies to queues at the local bank waiting for the teller or at ticket booths at the MCG.

Professor Taylor will discuss both the motivation and the science behind this statement, particularly how it relates to queueing in emergency departments and the concept of `ideal hospital occupancy’.