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Oct 28, 2019

Institute Insights: Task Selection and Workload in the ER

Featuring research from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor of Operations and Center for the Business of Health Faculty Director Brad Staats, Emory University Goizueta Busines School Associate Professor Diwas Singh KC, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management Associate Professor Maryam Kouchaki and Harvard Business School Tandon Family Professor of Business Administration Francesca Gino

Brad Staats, professor of operations at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and faculty director of the Center for the Business of Health, outlines his latest research on people-centric operations. Staats and his colleagues looks at how a merging of organizational behavior and operations can be capitalized upon to create systems that help people thrive and be productive.

In this Institute Insights, Staats discusses the paper, “Task Selection and Workload.” The paper explores how the workload of emergency room physicians affects which non-urgent patients they choose to prioritize out of a full waiting room, and what the consequences of those decisions might be for both the doctor and patient. The researchers used six years of data from a major metropolitan hospital to answer such questions as: When an ER doctor’s workload is heavy, does he or she select harder or easier patient cases first? What psychological processes drive the doctor’s selection? And what are the operational consequences?

Read the full paper, here.

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