The Use of Discrete-Event Simulation to Improve Flow in Healthcare Clinics


Clinic space is at a premium and yet it is often poorly utilized. This paper focuses on optimizing space layout, improving flow, and reducing waste in healthcare facilities using simulation modeling of a number of alternative layouts. The main concern raised by the stakeholders surrounds how space affects the interaction between staff, which is addressed through a simulation model that measures the collocation of staff in various clinic spaces. In addition, the amount of space by type necessary for implementation is evaluated for each alternative, utilizing information such as the floor plan, square footage, and utilization of resources obtained from the simulation model. The utilization of resources (people, equipment, and rooms) is directly measured through associated metrics, which also determines space requirements. The waste is then reduced in the layouts by analyzing the utilization metrics and addressing non-value added metrics (i.e., walking, waiting) in the simulation models for the alternatives. This paper presents the development of the simulation model and its application using four healthcare clinic layouts.

Meeting Name

33rd Annual International Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management (2012: Oct. 17-20; Virginia Beach, VA)


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Second Department

Psychological Science


American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM)
Old Dominion University. Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering
Missouri University of Science and Technology. Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Healthcare facility; Improve flow; ITS applications; Non-value added; Resource utilizations; Simulation model; Space requirements; Utilization of resources; Computer simulation; Discrete event simulation; Health care; Wastes; Management; Healthcare layout

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2012 American Society for Engineering Management, All rights reserved.

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