Queueing Systems

, Volume 90, Issue 3–4, pp 291–306 | Cite as

Queuing network models for panel sizing in oncology

  • Peter T. VanberkelEmail author
  • Nelly Litvak
  • Martin L. Puterman
  • Scott Tyldesley


Motivated by practices and issues at the British Columbia Cancer Agency (BCCA), we develop queuing network models to determine the appropriate number of patients to be managed by a single physician. This is often referred to as a physician’s panel size. The key features that distinguish our study of oncology practices from other panel size models are high patient turnover rates, multiple patient and appointment types, and follow-up care. The paper develops stationary and non-stationary queuing network models corresponding to stabilized and developing practices, respectively. These models are used to determine new patient arrival rates that ensure practices operate within certain performance thresholds. Data from the BCCA are used to calibrate and illustrate the implications of these models.


Queueing networks Panel sizing Oncology Capacity planning 

Mathematics Subject Classification

60 65 90 



The authors would like to acknowledge staff from the CIHR Team in Operations Research for Improved Cancer Care at the BC Cancer Agency for their support of this project and their assistance with data collection and Daniel Ding for his valuable feedback on our manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter T. Vanberkel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nelly Litvak
    • 2
    • 3
  • Martin L. Puterman
    • 4
  • Scott Tyldesley
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Industrial EngineeringDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Department of Applied MathematicsUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Sauder School of BusinessUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  5. 5.British Columbia Cancer AgencyVancouverCanada

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