Kowalczyk, R H and Worthington, D J (2005) The effective management of intensive care: a case study integrating hard and soft methods. Working Paper. The Department of Management Science, Lancaster University.
The provision of an intensive care service is extremely costly and demand for the service is increasing. Because of the complexity within intensive care, quantitative methods and qualitative methods are used together to develop understanding of the factors affecting ICU management and to identify ways in which performance can be improved. The successful management of intensive care is dependent upon a complex and interacting set of factors. Insights drawn from combining quantitative and qualitative methods are relevant for strategic policy making, as well as to support and challenge decisions at an operational level. The potential for the integration of quantitative and qualitative methods to provide greater understanding and support for proposed improvements within a complex healthcare system is highlighted. This paper also discusses the benefits and possibilities of developing qualitative skills within OR, to be used in combination with quantitative skills.
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