A simulation modelling approach to evaluating length of stay, occupancy, emptiness and bed blocking in a hospital geriatric department

Abstract

The flow of patients through geriatric hospitals has been previously described in terms of acute (short‐stay), rehabilitation (medium‐stay), and long‐stay states where the bed occupancy at a census point is modelled by a mixed exponential model using BOMPS (Bed Occupancy Modelling and Planning System). In this a patient is initially admitted to acute care. The majority of the patients are discharged within a few days into their own homes or through death. The rest are converted into medium‐stay patients where they could stay for a few months and thereafter either leave the system or move on to a long‐stay compartment where they could stay until they die. The model forecasts the average length of stay as well as the average number of patients in each state. The average length of stay in the acute compartment is artificially high if some would‐be long‐term patients are kept waiting in the short‐stay compartment until beds become available in long‐stay (residential and nursing homes). In this paper we consider the problem as a queueing system to assess the effect of blockage on the flow of patients in geriatric departments. What‐if analysis is used to allow a greater understanding of bed requirements and effective utilisation of resources.

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El‐Darzi, E., Vasilakis, C., Chaussalet, T. et al. A simulation modelling approach to evaluating length of stay, occupancy, emptiness and bed blocking in a hospital geriatric department. Health Care Management Science 1, 143 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1019054921219

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  • simulation
  • geriatric medicine
  • queueing systems
  • bed occupancy