Queuing Theory and Discrete Events Simulation for Health Care: From Basic Processes to Complex Systems with Interdependencies

Queuing Theory and Discrete Events Simulation for Health Care: From Basic Processes to Complex Systems with Interdependencies

Alexander Kolker (Children’s Hospital and Health Systems, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-988-5.ch121
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Abstract

This chapter describes applications of the discrete events simulation (DES) and queuing analytic (QA) theory as a means of analyzing healthcare systems. There are two objectives of this chapter: (i) to illustrate the use and shortcomings of QA compared to DES by applying both of them to analyze the same problems, and (ii) to demonstrate the principles and power of DES methodology for analyzing both simple and rather complex healthcare systems with interdependencies. This chapter covers: (i) comparative analysis of QA and DES methodologies by applying them to the same processes, (ii) effect of patient arrival and service time variability on patient waiting time and throughput, (iii) comparative analysis of the efficiency of dedicated (specialized) and combined resources, (iv) a DES model that demonstrates the interdependency of subsystems and its effect on the entire system throughput, and (v) the issues and perspectives of practical implementation of DES results in health care setting.

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