Determining staffing requirements for blood donor clinics: the Canadian Blood Services experience

Authors

  • John T. Blake,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Industrial Engineering, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    2. Canadian Blood Services, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    • Address reprint requests to: John T. Blake, Department of Industrial Engineering, Dalhousie University, 5269 Morris Street, Halifax, NS, Canada, B3H 4R2; e-mail: john.blake@dal.ca.

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  • Susan Shimla

    1. Canadian Blood Services, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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  • Funding for this project was provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grant program and by Canadian Blood Services.

Abstract

Background

Canadian Blood Services runs approximately 16,000 donor clinics annually. While there were more than 220 different clinic configurations used in 2011 and 2012, 67% of all clinic configurations followed one of 51 standard models. As part of operational planning for current and future configurations it was necessary for Canadian Blood Services to calculate staffing requirements for standard clinic models.

Study Design and Methods

In this article we present a method that incorporates both cost control and impact on donor experience. We calculate staffing requirements to minimize costs, but adjust using queuing theory to ensure donor wait time metrics are met. The method can be applied in a wide variety of situations.

Results

Although developed for a particular study, the methods described in this article can be applied in a wide variety of situations. A case study in which the model is used to review existing staffing arrangements at Canadian Blood Services is presented.

Conclusion

The staffing model can be used to balance the requirements of minimizing staffing costs with that of ensuring that donors do not suffer unnecessary delays. Moreover, in an example application, savings of 3.4% were identified through the modeling process.

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