Middletown General Hospital: Emergency Department Observation Unit Analysis

by: William Lovejoy, Wallace Hopp

Publication Date: September 16, 2013
Length: 4 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-133

Core Disciplines: Operations Management/Supply Chain

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Teaching Note

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This case uses the example of a Hospital’s Emergency Department to introduce Little’s formula of I = RT, a fundamental law in operations management. Through a series of questions, the case guides students through issues of capacity, marginal profits, costs, and inventory. The case also asks students to consider hypothetical scenarios and make decisions backed by their calculations.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Apply Little’s Law to perform a capacity planning analysis.
  • Connect operational physical flows to financial cash flows and economic performance.
  • Practice representing physical flows in a process flow diagram.