Research team wins prestigious Griffiths Medal
Congratulations to Professor Vicky Mabin, Julie Yee, Sally Babington, Dr Vanessa Caldwell, and Robyn Moore for being awarded the Griffiths Medal by The Operational Research Society.
The Griffiths Medal 2019 is awarded by The OR Society for the best paper in Health Systems journal in the preceding two years. Based in the UK, the ORS is the oldest and biggest OR society in the world representing a profession at the very heart of analytics.
The paper, Using the Theory of Constraints to resolve long-standing resource and service issues in a large public hospital, describes how the Theory of Constraint’s (TOC) was used to address the resourcing issues caused by rising demands and fixed budgets that plague public hospitals everywhere. A pilot implementation changed the decision rules for determining when the pharmacy supplied chemotherapy drugs. This led to an improvement in average patient wait times of 87%, 37% increase in production, two-thirds (67%) reduction in nursing overtime, reduced stress levels, while drug costs were held constant. The resulting two-tier system has been in place and working well for over 12 years.
In 2006, Julie, Sally and Vanessa undertook an initial thorough analysis using TOC with Vicky’s guidance as part of an MBA problem solving and decision-making course that Vicky taught. Julie led the pilot implementation in the hospital in 2007, Robyn helped compile the paper and with Vicky, undertook further research to see the paper through to publication in Health Systems. Julie now works for ACC, Vanessa for Mid-Central DHB, Sally for the Department of Conservation, while Robyn is an operations researcher and local business owner.