June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.52.1 - 15.52.7
A Meta Study of Discrete Event Modeling and Simulation (DES) Used by Healthcare Industries
Discrete event modeling and simulation (DES) is a popular tool in widely varying fields for identifying and answering questions about the effects of changes on processes. The manufacturing and business sectors have been using DES since the early 1980’s. Because of issues related to economic and social factors, the healthcare industry appears to have begun using DES to improve its services and care.
The authors have taught with and used DES software, Arena® and ProModel, in process analyses over the past decade and were intrigued by the usage of DES software especially in the healthcare field. Using healthcare problems that have been analyzed using DES software would give students exposure to realistic situations which they may actually experience (e.g., waiting to be seen in an emergency room).
This concept has application, especially in engineering and technology education, through being able to use real life examples in teaching DES concepts and software. This would give students a better appreciation of the use of DES software in analyzing processes. An excellent source of real life examples can be found at the Winter Simulation Conference1. The papers presented over the past 10 years of the Winter Simulation Conference were analyzed for such examples to be used in courses such as Systems Modeling or Modeling and Simulation Languages.
In addition, the projects described in each paper were analyzed for characteristics that would be useful for use as potential student projects. These projects could also be used as the basis for engineering and technology students to become involved in health care DES research.
One of the first characteristics analyzed was the ranking of the DES software products being used. Figure 1 shows that across all sectors, business, healthcare, and government, Arena® has been shown to be the most prevalent DES software. However, there is some DES software that is designed specifically for the healthcare sector. For example, ProModel Corp. has a special version of their process modeling DES called MedModel2. To apply a more systematic procedure to aid in classifying the papers analyzed for where DES is being used in healthcare, the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)3 was chosen.
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