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Using Simulation in an Acute-care Hospital: Easier Said Than Done

  • Michael W. Carter
  • John T. Blake
Part of the International Series in Operations Research & Management Science book series (ISOR, volume 70)

Summary

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 words

Simulation Nursing human resources Surgical schedules Emergency department modeling Drug order entry 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael W. Carter
    • 1
  • John T. Blake
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Industrial EngineeringUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Industrial EngineeringDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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