Queues in series with blocking
Baber, Jack Martyn Alec
This piece of work describes a hospital's Critical Care Unit and uses different mathematical techniques to model the behaviour seen there. The main factor that is included in these models is the problem of bed blocking in the Unit. Blocking is defined as patients who are well enough not to be in the Critical Care Unit, but remain there, for any number of reasons. These patients are using up an expensive and limited resource. The mathematical techniques that the models are built on are extensively reviewed and analysed. These are the Coxian Phase Type Distribution and Networks of Queues with Blocking Equations. Both techniques are described in detail and their distributions analysed under different circumstances. The final chapter shows how the two distributions can be used to model a complex situation such as the one found in the Critical Care Unit. The models are tested and compared. Finally, the models are tested under a number of 'what if scenarios to predict the effect of changing certain factors on the actual Unit.