Seasonal demand for emergency department services : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Information Systems in Information Systems at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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There may be various explanations for what appears to be temporary breakdowns in the operations of Emergency Departments. One obviously can not anticipate natural disasters - what is also referred to as acts of God, but what of other situations which may develop ever so often? This begs several questions, including: • Are there "seasonal" factors at play which influence the influx of ED attendances? • And if that is the case - are there "seasonality"-related problems with the management of such surges in demand for ED services? In fact, when questions to this effect were first raised with some in ED Management in the "District" (managed by the District Health Board) the existence of "seasonality" was acknowledged, as was its potential for causing operational difficulties. In other words, there is an acknowledgement that there are "ebbs and flows" in demand for Emergency Services, and that while such can not always be anticipated absolutely, an attempt must none the less be made to pre-empt its fluctuations more accurately, and thus the following rephrased problem description "derived" from the foregoing questions: There seems to be some seasonality in the demand for ED services and it is causing operational difficulties. · For the purpose of brevity the following succinct Problem Description will be used liberally throughout the remainder of this Research Project / Thesis, namely that this is an attempt at determining Seasonal Demand for ED Services. This compacted rework of the original questions and discussion therefore represent mentioned questions and discussion. Whenever used in the remainder of this Research Project it implies that which precedes it in Chapter 1.1. For the time being that will suffice, but the author will define "season" and "seasonality" more specifically later in the Thesis, in view of some of the earlier "weather" / "season"-related studies mentioned in the Literature Review / References (Section 2.4.2 of Chapter 2). [FROM INTRODUCTION]
Emergency medical services, Emergency management