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Application of discrete-event simulation in health care clinics: A survey


In recent decades, health care costs have dramatically increased, while health care organisations have been under severe pressure to provide improved quality health care for their patients. Several health care administrators have used discrete-event simulation as an effective tool for allocating scarce resources to improve patient flow, while minimising health care delivery costs and increasing patient satisfaction. The rapid growth in simulation software technology has created numerous new application opportunities, including more sophisticated implementations, as well as combining optimisation and simulation for complex integrated facilities. This paper surveys the application of discrete-event simulation modeling to health care clinics and systems of clinics (for example, hospitals, outpatient clinics, emergency departments, and pharmacies). Future directions of research and applications are also discussed.

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Correspondence to S H Jacobson.

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Jun, J., Jacobson, S. & Swisher, J. Application of discrete-event simulation in health care clinics: A survey. J Oper Res Soc 50, 109–123 (1999).

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  • simulation
  • health services
  • hospitals
  • clinics