Modelling the backlog of COVID-19 cases for a surgical group

Modelling the backlog of COVID-19 cases for a surgical group

Can J Surg 2020;63(5):E391-E392 | Full Text | PDF

David M. Brandman, MD, PhD; Erika Leck, MD; Sean Christie, MD


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on health care delivery and has resulted in a backlog of patients needing surgery. There is a lack of experience and guidance in dealing with this increased demand on an already overburdened health care system. We created an online tool ( that helps surgeons explore how resource allocation within their group will affect wait times for patients. After inputting a handful of readily available variables, the computer program generates a forecast of how long it will take to see the backlog of patients. This information could be used to allow surgical groups to run simulations to explore different resource allocation strategies in order to help prevent downstream consequences of delayed patient care.

Accepted July 28, 2020

Affiliations: From the Division of Neurosurgery (Department of Surgery), Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS.

Competing interests: None declared.

Contributors: All authors contributed substantially to the conception, writing and revision of this article and approved the final version for publication.

DOI: 10.1503/cjs.011420

Correspondence to: S. Christie, QEII Health Sciences Centre Halifax Infirmary, 3806 – 1796 Summer St, Halifax NS B3H 3A7,