This presentation will explore the use of simulation technology to analyze patient flow in emergency departments. A demonstration of how this type of tool can be used to address JCAHO ED patient flow standards will be shown. Each phase of a simulation project and the results from real-world models will be discussed.
Simulation technology is finding increasing success and acceptance in the health care industry. As JCAHO demands hospitals meet patient flow standards, leaders are turning to simulation projects to help identify patient flow issues and test potential changes to their systems. In particular, ED models are becoming important tools for system analysis. They give decision-makers critical insight into their process and enable them to make the right changes, improving patient flow, quality of care, safety, and satisfaction. However, without the proper experience and methodology, developing an ED simulation can be daunting. This paper will explore how to build effective models based on real-world project success. Each step of a typical ED simulation project will be discussed. From defining the initial scope to analyzing the model results, no step of the project should be discounted. This paper will provide process improvement leaders with a thorough understanding of project steps as well as potential results of a simulation endeavor.