ACCESD Healthcare

A Collaborative Consortium for Excellence of Service Delivery in Healthcare

Timely access to health services is vitally important for any healthcare system. Excessive waits to see a healthcare provider, or to get a diagnostic test or medical procedure, can cause dissatisfaction with the healthcare system and reduce the quality of care provided to the community.

ACCESD Healthcare

ACCESD Healthcare focuses on the timely delivery of health services. ACCESD Healthcare is a new consortium of clinical and non-clinical colleagues in a diverse set of disciplines within the University of Calgary and beyond. They use their research methods and insights to improve access to healthcare. Healthcare practitioners, healthcare researchers, and researchers in non-medical fields combine talents to enhance healthcare system efficiency without compromising the quality of care. The goal is to improve the delivery of healthcare services in order to reduce waiting times, shorten waiting lists, and reduce pressure on the healthcare system.  

ACCESD Healthcare is located in the Operations and Supply Chain Management area at the Haskayne School of Business. Healthcare operations management (OM) is a field of research that focuses on mathematical techniques to address inefficiencies in healthcare delivery that may cause unnecessary waiting. ACCESD Healthcare offers partnering opportunities to clinical and health services research teams to help make healthcare more accessible.

What We Do

Healthcare operations management (OM) is a field of research that focuses on mathematical techniques to address inefficiencies in healthcare service delivery that may cause unnecessary waiting. Healthcare OM has been used to improve access to healthcare in many countries around the world.  Application areas of healthcare OM include strategic planning (location of units within new facilities, sizing of inpatient units, determining optimal clinic patient panel size), scheduling (surgical OR, nursing staff, diagnostic units), and patient flow (within emergency departments and appointment systems).


With the increasing amount of healthcare service delivery research going on across the University of Calgary—including projects to improve access to emergency care, acute stroke care, hip and knee replacement surgery, and care for rheumatoid arthritis—the need for a cross-campus platform for collaboration has become clear.  ACCESD Healthcare was started in September 2017 and is building on existing strong relationships to provide a platform for continued high-quality research.

ACCESD Healthcare is the successor to HOPE, the Healthcare OPerations Excellence Laboratory, which started at the University of Calgary in the late 1990s as an informal collaboration between members of the Operations and Supply Chain Management (OSCM) area at the Haskayne School of Business and members of the Manufacturing Engineering program within the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.

Members of HOPE, including Paul Rogers of Manufacturing Engineering and Thomas Rohleder and Diane Bischak of OSCM, worked closely with a number of healthcare professionals to address problems of access to health services by applying tools from the fields of operational research and analytics. These studies resulted in publications addressing challenges in locating patient service centres for Calgary Laboratory Services (Rohleder, Bischak, & Baskin, 2007), reducing long waits for service at the Foothills Hospital Cast Clinic (Rohleder et al., 2011), and improving access to testing for pulmonary function and sleep-related conditions (Pendharkar et al., 2015, 2016; Ip et al., 2016). In a major study, HOPE was commissioned by the Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) to apply discrete-event simulation modelling and system dynamics modelling.

A. Ip, R. Asamoah-Barnieh, D.P. Bischak, W.J. Davidson, W.W. Flemons, S.R. Pendharkar, “Using process improvements to guide pulmonary function scheduling policies at an academic centre,” Canadian Respiratory Journal (2016) Article ID 5269374, 6 pages, doi:10.1155/2016/5269374.

Health Quality Council of Alberta. “Emergency and Urgent Care Services in the Calgary Health Region,” (2007).

S.R. Pendharkar, D.P. Bischak, P. Rogers, W.W. Flemons, and T.W. Noseworthy, “Using patient flow simulation to improve access at a multidisciplinary sleep centre," Journal of Sleep Research 24 (2015), 320–327.

S.R. Pendharkar, A. Dechant, D.P. Bischak, W.H. Tsai, A. Stevenson, and P.J. Hanly, “An observational study of the effectiveness of alternate care providers in the management of obstructive sleep apnea,” Journal of Sleep Research 25:2 (2016), 234–240.

T.R. Rohleder, D.P. Bischak, and L.B. Baskin, “Modeling patient service centers with simulation and system dynamics,” Health Care Management Science 10:1 (2007), 1-12.

T.R. Rohleder, P. Lewkonia, D.P. Bischak, P. Duffy, and R. Hendijani, “Using simulation modeling to improve patient flow at an outpatient orthopedic clinic,” Health Care Management Science 14 (2011), 135-145.


The Colleagues of ACCESD Healthcare are researchers with extensive knowledge and experience in healthcare operations management and related fields in management and engineering. They partner with healthcare professionals and healthcare researchers to improve access to care.

If you are interested in joining the ACCESD Healthcare consortium, please contact Diane Bischak.


The Ambassadors of ACCESD Healthcare have the ability to act as intermediaries between healthcare professionals and healthcare OM researchers. They are key players who are familiar with health system accessibility issues and are also aware of the potential for healthcare OM to improve the functioning of the healthcare system.

If you are interested in joining the ACCESD Healthcare consortium, please contact Diane Bischak.

Contact Us

For more information about ACCESD Healthcare, contact:

Diane Bischak

Diane Bischak

Consortium Co-director
Professor, Operations and Supply Chain Management

Marco Bijvank

Marco Bijvank

Consortium Co-director
Assistant Professor, Operations and Supply Chain Management