Using Simulation in an Acute-care Hospital: Easier Said Than Done
Simulation, as it is typically taught, is a rather mechanical process. Students are taught to follow a recipe: analyze a system, design a model, convert the model to computer code, collect data, verify, validate, and analyze the output. In practice, many analysts find that simulation is an odd combination of art, science, and marketing. Using this technique appropriately, in any industry, involves more than simply following the text book. In our experience, health care provides some rather unique challenges for the modeler. This chapter describes four different practical examples of using simulation to analyze a problem in an acute care hospital. The specific examples are not described in detail, since the applications have appeared in other publications. The emphasis here is to present some of the obstacles that were encountered and the lessons learned.
Key wordsSimulation Nursing human resources Surgical schedules Emergency department modeling Drug order entry
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