Developing A Personal Decision Support Tool for Hospital Capacity Assessment and Querying

by   Robert L Burdett, et al.

This article showcases a personal decision support tool (PDST) called HOPLITE, for performing insightful and actionable quantitative assessments of hospital capacity, to support hospital planners and health care managers. The tool is user-friendly and intuitive, automates tasks, provides instant reporting, and is extensible. It has been developed as an Excel Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) due to its perceived ease of deployment, ease of use, Office's vast installed userbase, and extensive legacy in business. The methodology developed in this article bridges the gap between mathematical theory and practice, which our inference suggests, has restricted the uptake and or development of advanced hospital planning tools and software. To the best of our knowledge, no personal decision support tool (PDST) has yet been created and installed within any existing hospital IT systems, to perform the aforementioned tasks. This article demonstrates that the development of a PDST for hospitals is viable and that optimization methods can be embedded quite simply at no cost. The results of extensive development and testing indicate that HOPLITE can automate many nuanced tasks. Furthermore, there are few limitations and only minor scalability issues with the application of free to use optimization software. The functionality that HOPLITE provides may make it easier to calibrate hospitals strategically and/or tactically to demands. It may give hospitals more control over their case-mix and their resources, helping them to operate more proactively and more efficiently.


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