Modeling and analysis of the emergency department at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital using simulations

Journal of Emergency Nursing : JEN : Official Publication of the Emergency Department Nurses Association
Stuart BrennerPatricia Kunz Howard


In this article, we present a simulation study conducted in the emergency department at the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. Based on analysis of process and flow data, a simulation model of patient throughput in the emergency department has been developed. What-if analyses have been proposed to identify bottlenecks and investigate the optimal numbers of human and equipment resources (eg, nurses, physicians, and radiology technology). The simulation results suggest that 3 additional nurses are needed to ensure desired clinical outcomes. Diagnostic testing, the computed tomography scan in particular, is found to be a bottleneck. As a result, acquisition of an additional computed tomography scanner is recommended. Hospital management has accepted the recommendations, and implementation is in progress. Such a model provides a quantitative tool for continuous improvement and process control in the emergency department and also is applicable to other departments in the hospital.


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Related Concepts

Ancillary Services, Hospital
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