Evaluation of the Design of a Family Practice Healthcare Clinic Using Discrete-Event Simulation


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Virginia Tech


With increased pressures from governmental and insurance agencies, today's physician devotes less time to patient care and more time to administration. To alleviate this problem, Biological & Popular Culture, Inc. (Biopop) proposed the building of partnerships with healthcare professionals to provide high-quality, cost-effective medical care in a physician network setting. To assist Biopop in evaluating potential operating procedures, a discrete-event simulation model has been constructed. The model is built in an object-oriented, visual manner utilizing the Visual Simulation Environment (VSE). The model examines both internal Biopop operations and external clinic operations. The research presented herein describes the design of the simulation model and details the analysis of the clinical environment.

A methodology for determining appropriate staffing and physical resources in a clinical environment is presented. This methodology takes advantage of several simulation-based statistical techniques, including batch means; fractional factorial design; and simultaneous ranking, selection, and multiple comparisons.

An explanation of the experimental design is provided and results of the experimentation are presented. Based upon the experimental results, conclusions are drawn and recommendations are made for an appropriate staffing and facility size for a two-physician family practice healthcare clinic.



Discrete-Event Simulation, Healthcare, Optimization, Ranking and Selection, Multiple Comparisons with the Best, Design Evaluation