Health Systems by William "Ike" Eisenhauer

Industrial Engineer’s monthly column about health systems (June 2014) 

Why forecast the past?

Matching supply to demand is one of the most common goals of industrial engineering and an important one in any business endeavor, healthcare not excluded. Whether matching bed supply to patient demand, nursing skill resources to clinical needs or operating rooms to surgeries, this effort is critical for both the smooth flow of hospital operations and the efficient use of resources. Unfortunately, many people do it wrong. They attempt to match supply to production, instead of supply to demand. In effect, they forecast the past.

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