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Managing the bed crunch in hospitals

April 25, 2018, 7:30AM - 9:30AM

Ivey's Tangerine Leadership Centre, King & York St., Toronto

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Long waits. Frustrated patients. Overworked health-care providers.

These issues have become defining characteristics of Canada’s health-care system today as a result of a rapidly aging population and shortage of hospital beds.

Are there new ways of moving patients through the system to solve the hospital bed crunch? Is there a case for improving Alternative-Level-of-Care policies and procedures?  

For this Ivey Idea Forum, David Barrett, MBA ’04, PhD ’14, Executive Director, and Alexandra Boston, Research Analyst, both from the Ivey International Centre for Health Innovation; plus Felipe Rodrigues, an Ivey Management Science PhD candidate, will discuss findings from their research on bed management in long-term care and how this impacts upstream bed usage, and a simulation model that introduces an alternative level of care to improve bed management in hospitals. They’ll explore potential modifications to current bed allocation policy and improvements to patient-flow processes.

A panel of health-sector leaders, including Arden Krystal (President and CEO, Southlake Regional Health Centre), Cindy Mason (RAI and Admissions Co-ordinator at the long-term care facility of Chartwell London), Dr. Andy Smith (President and CEO, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre), and Julie Trpkovski, EMBA ’12 (Vice President, Mental Health, Emergency Services and Corporate Access and Flow, London Health Sciences Centre), will share insights from their experiences with Ontario’s health-care system.

This event is the Bob Britney Lecture in Operations.


Event Details

Bob Britney Lecture in Operations

April 25, 2018

7:30-8 a.m. – Registration and breakfast
8-9 a.m. – Presentation from David Barrett, Alexandra Boston, and Felipe Rodrigues on new approaches to bed management/patient flow, and panel with health-sector leaders
9-9:30 a.m. – Q&A
Location: Ivey's Tangerine Leadership Centre, King & York St., Toronto

Tickets: $30 (non-alumni), $25 (alumni), $20 (current students)

Topics You Will Explore

  • The current model of patient health progression in intensive care units and why it doesn’t work
  • How Alternative-Level-of-Care improvements can make a difference
  • Engaging health-care stakeholders
  • How simulation can improve bed management
  • Potential policy and procedure improvements at hospitals

About the Moderator

David Barrett, MBA ’04, PhD ’14
David Barrett splits his time at Ivey as a Section Head in the HBA program, an Operations Management Professor, and the Executive Director of the Ivey International Centre for Health Innovation (IICHI). His past consulting-based interactions and experiences with health-care clinicians and administrators has largely motivated his focused interest in advancing scholarly theorization and managerial understanding of the requisite operational and organizational capabilities that underpin the productive deployment of a systematic lean management approach. His personal research focuses on the design, delivery, and capture of value for and from customers through the deployment of a well-designed lean management approach. His team of researchers at IICHI focuses on improving upon the value created and captured through systematic improvements and disruptions to the health-care delivery value chain and for the health-care system in totality.

Barrett is a Certified Management Accountant and a Chartered Professional Accountant. Prior to completing his MBA at Ivey and embarking on a consulting career, he was an elite-level men’s hockey coach. His unique blend of coaching, consulting, and academic training enables him to apply a rare mix of skills and perspectives to problems within the operations and supply chain functional areas of a business.

About the Speakers

Alexandra Boston
Alexandra Boston is a Master of Health Information Science candidate in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University. She also holds her Master of Library and Information Science and Bachelor of Education from Western University as well as a Bachelor of Arts, Honours from the University of Guelph. Her past research includes health literacy and system improvement. She is a Research Analyst at the Ivey International Centre for Health Innovation.

Felipe Rodrigues, PhD ’18 candidate
Felipe Rodrigues is a Management Science PhD candidate from the Ivey Business School, specializing in health-care management science. His current research focuses on hospital capacity management, having developed bed capacity management simulations, ICU patient length-of-stay prediction models, and game theory models to optimize ICU patient flows. His research is funded by the Ontario Trillium Scholarship, Ivey International Centre for Health Innovation, and MITACS/3M. He has published in scientific journals such as Operations Research for Health Care, presented his research in conferences such as CORS, DSI, ORAHS, and webinars for Simul8®. He is also an experienced instructor in Operations management, Supply chain management, and Management Science.

About the Panellists 

Arden Krystal
Arden Krystal joined Southlake Regional Health Centre as President and Chief Executive Officer in October 2017. Krystal is an experienced and authentic senior executive who uses her expertise in clinical operations leadership, innovation, and system change to energize people, drive improvement in patient and employee experiences, and provide strategic and operational oversight in large, complex organizations. Krystal will continue Southlake’s commitment to the Ultimate Hospital Experience. Most recently, Krystal was Executive Vice President, Patient and Employee Experience at the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). The PHSA is responsible for British Columbia’s quaternary care delivery organizations and leads locally delivered specialty care through planning and commissioning services. PHSA has a total operating budget of $2.5 billion, 19,000 employees and physicians, and is the fifth largest health research enterprise in Canada.

Krystal started her career as a registered nurse in medical and surgical oncology. She has contributed to the delivery of quality health care for more than 30 years in an impressive range of progressive roles, primarily in operational management.

Cindy Mason
Cindy Mason is the RAI and Admissions Co-ordinator at the long-term care facility of Chartwell London. She has worked in this capacity for the last four years and has been with the company for more than 10 years as a Registered Practical Nurse. Mason attended Fanshawe College and was licensed in 1994. Since then, she has participated in many educational opportunities through Western University and the Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging. She participated in London Health Sciences Centre’s transfer project that was undertaken to improve the quality of information provided when sending residents to the hospital and when they are discharged back to the long-term care facility. 

The admission process can be an overwhelming responsibility, as Mason is one of the first faces and contacts that families and residents have with the home. Taking care of one's parents can be overwhelming and the concept of long-term care is complicated. Mason strongly believes this process needs to be improved and the first step for this is open and honest communication. 

Andy Smith
Dr. Andy J. Smith is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Ont. In addition, he is a Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto.

He completed medical school, including a Master of Science and General Surgery residency at the University of Toronto. He also completed a Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Upon returning to Canada, he established himself as a leader in the management of colorectal cancer.

He has served as Head of the Division of General Surgery at Sunnybrook, Chair of the Division of General Surgery at the University of Toronto, and Chief of the Odette Cancer Program and Regional Vice President for Cancer Care Ontario. Most recently, Dr. Smith served Sunnybrook as its Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Executive.

Julie Trpkovski, EMBA ’12
Julie Trpkovski is the Vice President for Mental Health, Emergency Services, and Corporate Access and Flow at the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). Trpkovski provides overall leadership, strategic direction, and operational management of the delivery of high-quality, patient-centred care in partnership with the respective Physician Chair Chiefs.

Prior to joining LHSC in 2016, Trpkovski provided strategic leadership for health-care teams within government and hospital settings in Canada for more than 20 years. Most recently, Trpkovski was the Provincial Vice President, Transplant at Ontario's Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN), where she worked with the transplant community developing programs and policies to support the development of an integrated transplant system. Prior to her position at TGLN, she was Director of the Critical Care Program for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in Ontario where she led the development of many large-scale change initiatives under the Provincial Critical Care Strategy, including the development of Ontario’s Critical Care Information System, the Surge Capacity Management Program, Performance Improvement Collaborative, and the Critical Care Rapid Response Teams.

Trpkovski is a Registered Nurse with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with expertise in change leadership, operational and health system planning, strategic implementations, and building programs that enable organizational, regional, and provincial capacity. She has an extensive background in critical care nursing, as well as clinical research and health system administration. Trpkovski’s primary career mission has been to foster collaboration with clinical teams and partners to support the development of systems that enable clinical teams to provide the highest quality care for patients and their families.

Trpkovski received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) at the University of Windsor and completed her MBA at the Ivey Business School at Western University.

About the Bob Britney Lecture in Operations

This lecture series was established by friends, students, and colleagues in honour of the late Professor Bob Britney, who passed away in 1994. A Western University graduate, Professor Britney excelled in both the teaching and publishing fields of Operations Management. Professor Britney was active in a global study of benchmarking operations practices and standards around the world. Always interested in manufacturing process and quality assurance, he taught Manufacturing Strategy and a course on Productivity and Quality



  • Ivey Idea Forum
  • Health Innovation
  • Dave Barrett