Managing throughput: improving material, customer and information flows
Hospitals form an important element of Britain’s National Health Service, and represent a significant investment in facilities, technology and workforce. Despite this investment, patients’ waiting time for operations and other treatments is a persistent political hot potato. One of the main constraints on treating nonemergency patients is the availability of hospital beds, rather than surgeons or operating theatres (although these are also in limited supply). A considerable amount of research by hospitals therefore goes into ways of getting patients into and out of hospital more quickly.