Background Emerging infectious diseases continue to pose serious threats to global public health. So far, however, few published study has addressed the need for manpower reallocation needed in hospitals when such a serious contagious outbreak occurs. Aim To quantify the demand elasticity of the major surgery types in order to guide future manpower reallocation during contagious outbreaks. Materials and Methods Based on a nationwide research database in Taiwan, we extracted the monthly volumes of major surgery types for the period 1998-2003, which covered the SARS period, in order to carry out a time series analysis. The demand elasticity of each surgery type was then estimated by autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) analysis. Results During the study period, the surgical volumes of most selected surgery types either increased or remained steady. We categorized these surgery types into low-, moderate- And high-elastic groups according to their demand elasticity. Appendectomy, 'open reduction of fracture with internal fixation' and 'free skin graft' were in the low demand elasticity group. Transurethral prostatectomy and extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL) were in the high demand elasticity group. The manpower of the departments carrying out the surgeries with low demand elasticity should be maintained during outbreaks. In contrast, departments in charge of surgeries mainly with high demand elasticity, like urology departments, may be in a position to have part of their staff reallocated. Conclusions Taking advantage of the demand variation during the SARS period in 2003, we adopted the concept of demand elasticity and used a time series approach to figure out an effective index of demand elasticity for various types of surgery that could be used as a rational reference to carry out manpower reallocation during contagious outbreak situations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)