Julia M El-Zoghby
Discrete Event Simulation of Patients' Flow in an Emergency Department
Effective management of an Emergency Department (ED) is a vital tool required to meet the high patient standards. The main dilemma this department faces is overcrowding, causing patients to experience long waiting times and to leave without being served. Healthcare managers have to make important decisions concerning capacity planning, of both human and physical resources. In addition, patient arrivals are highly unpredictable thus, Discrete Event Simulation (DES) is usually used to replicate and analyze the patient flow in an ED. Accordingly, a DES model is presented in this work, described in detail, with emphasis on the development and modelling stage. Data used to drive the simulation is based on a case study reported in literature for a University Hospital in Ireland. Current results indicate that the performance of the ED indeed does not comply with given standards. Such a DES model presented can potentially benefit healthcare managers, providing them with the required data that will assist them to improve the quality of healthcare in the ED. Future work includes implementation of simulation experiments in order to determine the best resource levels and configurations that improve the performance of the ED.