New Audio Available for Media Use: Hospital and Operations Management Expert Timothy Chan on the Lessons Hospitals Learned During the Pandemic


Ashley Smith
Public Affairs Coordinator

New Audio Available for Media Use: Hospital and Operations Management Expert Timothy Chan on the Lessons Hospitals Learned During the Pandemic

BALTIMORE, MD, February 3, 2022 – New audio is available for media use featuring Timothy Chan of the University of Toronto. He is the Canada Research Chair in Novel Optimization and Analytics in Health. He’s also a professor in the department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and the Director of the Centre for Healthcare Engineering and the Centre for Analytics and AI Engineering. He is also a member of INFORMS.

In this audio content, Chan discusses the lessons hospitals have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. All sound should be attributed to Timothy Chan. There are 4 questions and responses. These responses were provided on February 3, 2022.


Question 1: How have hospital operations, processes and procedures been affected by the pandemic over the past two years? 

Time Cue: 00:43, Soundbite Duration: 00:33

“There have been significant impacts across the board, from impacts on staff such as staffing shortages and redeployment of staff, to impacts on patients like cancelled and delayed medical procedures.  Fortunately, this has sparked many hospitals to think more innovatively about how they manage their operations. For example, during the peak of some of the Covid waves, hospitals started to transfer patients to from more heavily loaded hospitals to less heavily loaded hospitals as a way to balance occupancy and improve the care that all of the patients receive.”


Question 2: What are some of the lessons for hospitals and healthcare facilities from the pandemic?

Time Cue: 01:21, Soundbite Duration: 00:20

“I think one of the major lessons is having good systems in place that can help them weather the storm much better than develop systems on the fly like we’ve seen from many hospitals. Being proactive in planning, having good insight into their own data that they use to make decisions. I think these are important lessons that hospitals are learning now.”


Question 3: When you look at these lessons, which functions within hospitals warrant the most amount of attention?

Time Cue: 01:49, Soundbite Duration: 00:15

“I would say one important area that impacts all of these functions is staffing. Many hospitals found that they didn’t have good data on staff ability and needs, for example. But this is an area that we are now trying to optimize staffing and scheduling.”


Question 4: How can hospitals and healthcare facilities incorporate those lessons into plans for the future?

Time Cue: 02:12, Soundbite Duration: 0:37

“I think in hospitals technology that supports operations has tended to lag behind other technologies in the hospitals like medical devices or new treatment machines.  I think hospitals really need to rethink how they approach their operations how critical real-time data is to support decision-making.  When you look at other sectors, many companies that aren’t actually technology companies or companies that you wouldn’t normally think are technology companies are increasingly positioning themselves as a technology company specialized in Sector X, for example. I think hospitals need to start doing the same.”

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INFORMS advances and promotes the science and technology of decision making to save lives, save money, and solve problems. As the largest association for the decision and data sciences, INFORMS members support organizations and governments at all levels as they work to transform data into information, and information into insights that lead to more efficient, effective, equitable and impactful results. INFORMS’ 10,000+ members are comprised of a diverse and robust international community of practitioners, researchers, educators, and students from a variety of fields. 




Ashley Smith