Predicting Joint Replacement Waiting Times
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Currently, the median waiting time for total hip and knee replacement in Ontario is greater than 6 months. Waiting longer than 6 months is not recommended and may result in lower post-operative benefits. We developed a simulation model to estimate the proportion of patients who would receive surgery within the recommended waiting time for surgery over a 10-year period considering a wide range of demand projections and varying the number of available surgeries. Using an estimate that demand will grow by approximately 8.7% each year for 10 years, we determined that increasing available supply by 10% each year was unable to maintain the status quo for 10 years. Reducing waiting times within 10 years required that the annual supply of surgeries increased by 12% or greater. Allocating surgeries across regions in proportion to each region’s waiting time resulted in a more efficient distribution of surgeries and a greater reduction in waiting times in the long-term compared to allocation strategies based only on the region’s population size.