Health Care Simulation

Decent Essays
Developments in technology and process management have resulted in an increase in the number of alternative routes to perform a task. Faced with many options it is important that the best option is chosen. While modelling these possibilities allows for an assessment of their feasibility, at times simple models are not sufficient (Paranjape & Gill, 2010). Systems and processes have random characteristics and are dependent on other processes; this is not always possible to account for with simple models. Simulation tools however offer the functionality to examine the randomness and interdependence simultaneously (Maria, 1997). This is ideal given the uncoordinated behaviour of real-life business environment, and allows the testing of the alternative…show more content…
Simulation is therefore appropriate for very complex problems with complex data requirements. Questions such as the amount of idle time in hospitals or the most optimal schedule for operation rooms can be answered using simulation. According to Gaba(2007) simulations can also be useful in evaluating physician performance and competence. According to Mocarzel, Shelton, Uyan, Pérez, Jimenez and DePagter (2013), long wait times and increasing healthcare costs are a prominent challenge in the healthcare industry. These challenges often lead to patient dissatisfaction. A possible remedy to these challenges is a simulation tool that can help determine the most optimal route and schedules for performing tasks. Baldwin, Eldabi and Paul (2004) recognize that the use of simulation in healthcare is becoming common place. This they state is mainly due to the fact that simulation allows for dynamic rather than static analysis of a situation. This dynamism seems well suited given the volatile hospital environment as it allows for the testing of different aspects of a system or process.

Larson (2013) recognises forecasting as another avenue for using simulation. He contests that because simulation can deal with time-compressed data, it can be used to provide forecasted data. Maria (1997) agrees with this notion, indicating that this characteristic of simulation makes it possible to model processes that are otherwise too expensive or complex to observe in the real world. She cites examples such as forecasting the cancer statistics a year ahead as a possible question to answer using
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