A Visual Simulation Life-Cycle Of The Queston Physician Network


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Virginia Tech


This research develops a discrete-event simulation model of the Queston Physician Network using the Visual Simulation Environment (VSE), an object-oriented simulation software program. The Queston Physician Network, a subsidiary of Biological & Popular Culture, Inc., attempts to centralize the administrative, financial, and telecommunication needs of a network of primary care physicians located throughout the United States. The VSE, running on the NeXTSTEP operating system, is a discrete event simulation software package with the capability to tackle the complexities associated with such a network design. The advantages of VSE over other simulation languages include its visualization of objects, domain independence, and object-oriented design and modeling.

The objective of the Queston simulation model is to addresses the performance capabilities of the physician network operationally centralized in the Queston Information Center. Additionally, the model could be used to analyze a physician-patient encounter of a generic clinic to identify recommended staffing and scheduling schemes.

Object-oriented programming allows the objects in the model to be instantiated at the time of execution. This feature permits the creation of one flexible generic clinic that can be reused to produce several identical clinics at program execution. In this model, one generic, family practice clinic and the Queston Information Center are created. Input data provided by both medical experts and a time study are used. Verification and validation techniques are applied in all phases of the modeling effort. Results using different configurations are presented and recommendations for future research are discussed



Simulation, health care, object-oriented modeling