Case #2046.0

Out Foxing the Flu

Publication Date: August 31, 2015
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Efficiently and effectively providing flu shots on a college campus is the challenge that faces the school’s director of health services. After a failed flu shot program the year prior and the resulting epidemic, the director must ensure students, faculty and staff receive the shot this year. Benchmarking reveals that a single day flu shot marathon has been successful on other campuses but lines must be managed to limit waiting time. The reader is introduced to basic queuing theory to determine how many shot stations are needed, balancing line length and cost. They also explore the impact of peaks on line management.

Learning Objective:
The teaching goal centers on the use of queuing theory to manage lines when delivering services. In meeting this objective the students are exposed to the basic concepts of queuing theory including arrival rate, service rate, and cutoffs. The case enables students to explore the tradeoffs between line length and cost. They are also exposed to the nonlinearities associated with service delivery and the impacts of peaks on both line length and cost.

Other Details

Case Author:
Mark Fagan and Dante Perez
Faculty Lead:
Mark Fagan
Pages (incl. exhibits):
United States