Managing a Business/Production/Operations Management
2. How could the Delphi method be used to predict for 5 years into the future, the demand for the hospital beds in a given community? Under what circumstances would you recommend use of Delphi method?
I would not use this method for predicting outcomes where demographical data might yield a more accurate result. The Delphi methodology relies on rhetorical input and is used where you are endeavouring to find answers which are not within the range of known possibilities whereas the demand for hospital beds is a function of population growth, the types of conditions existing in the community, age of population and so forth.
I would use the Delphi methodology in a think tank situation where you want to gain a range of insights and then refine them to gain the most likely set of outcomes. In the case of a hospital, is it located in the optimum location? What technologies might emerge, what changes can be expected in the incidence of disease? what are the vulnerabilities of the population? How will current research impact on the provision of services. These are generalisations for which no specific data may be available