Optimizing patient flow, capacity, and performance of COVID-19vaccination clinics
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Mass vaccination plays an important role in increasing immunization against COVID-19 and decreasing morbidity. Drive-through and traditional walk-through centers have been set up in most cities in the United States and other countries to vaccinate large numbers of people in a short period of time. This article focuses on a pair of mass vaccination clinics conducted on a mid-sized, public university campus. Applying tools from Industrial Engineering, including time study, flow charts, and Queuing Theory, the team identified improvements that resulted in a 40% reduction in the duration of the second clinic while vaccinating almost the same number of patients with no increases in overall staffing. The work resulted in a model for designing mass vaccination clinics in the future and demonstrates that engineers have the ability to support healthcare personnel to increase the performance of the vaccination centers. The inclusion of engineering in the planning and execution of these vaccination clinics can help maximize clinic capacity, reduce the staff and resources needed, and reduce the patients’ waiting time.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/),which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Leonardo Valladares, Valentina Nino, Kenneth Martínez, Durward Sobek, David Claudio & Sally Moyce (2022) Optimizing patient flow, capacity, and performance of COVID-19 vaccination clinics, IISE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering, 12:4, 275-287, DOI: 10.1080/24725579.2022.2066740