Modeling Resource Usage in Healthcare Systems

Julie Doerksen, Rob Simmonds, and Brian Unger. SCS Multiconference, San Diego.

This paper describes the development and implementation of a simulator created for the Clinical Services Review Committee of the Calgary Regional Health Authority (CRHA). The objective of the project was to create a tool to assist healthcare managers in determining service placement policies. As these services use resources, in order to analyze service placement it was necessary to examine resource usage within medical institutions. A general model for health services simulation was developed using high level abstractions of components of a healthcare system. The major components modeled include the patient generation process, the service selection process, the healthcare institutions, and the processes that interact within healthcare institutions.

The simulator interface is based on Microsoft Excel as this is an environment that the CRHA users are accustomed to. The interface provides Excel spreadsheets for entering data and allows output statistics to be examined both in the form of spreadsheets and graphs. Healthcare managers and professionals were consulted throughout the development process to assist in shaping the modeling approach, verifying the input data, and validating the simulation model.