Simulation for Healthcare Operation Management

Process based simulation is running alternative processes and calculating the indicators related with problem. Result of calculation leads to a decision.

For example we can ask these questions if we have a problem in ER(as high waiting times, low patient flow, inappropriate staff utilization): What if we added more physicians, beds, nurses etc… (finding true-good problem has high importance in operation management.

It’s available for healthcare facility process improvement and policy making in public health. But it is not being used very frequently even though it is not hard and software based. (MSY)

Simulation is a powerful tool for modeling processes and systems to evaluate choices and opportunities. It can be used in conjunction with other initiatives such as Lean and Six Sigma to enable continuous improvement of systems and processes.

SOURCE: Monte Carlo Simulation

ü  Define the relationship in a system mathematically

ü  Characterize random variables (those that are uncertain and have a range of possible values rather than a single number) by a probability distribution

ü  The probability distribution is based on historical data or expert knowledge of the situation

ü  Many (actually, a range of) solutions to the model are determined

ü  Each solution found by sampling from the probability distributions associated with the random variables



Process of modeling reality to gain a better understanding of the phenomena or system being studied



Simulation can allow healthcare administrators to explore

ü  how changes to patient flow and surgical scheduling

ü  would affect throughput, patient waiting times, and budgets,

ü  without adversely affecting ongoing operations



Model development

—    Define the problem or question

—    Develop the conceptual model

—    Collect data

—    Build computer model

Model validation

Simulate and analyze output

A model is an imperfect representation of reality




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