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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 4 (2013), Issue 2, Pages 285-305
http://dx.doi.org/10.1260/2040-2295.4.2.285
Research Article

A Generic Discrete-Event Simulation Model for Outpatient Clinics in a Large Public Hospital

Waressara Weerawat,1 Juta Pichitlamken,2 and Peerapong Subsombat1

1Department of Industrial Engineering, Mahidol University, Nakornpathom, Thailand
2Department of Industrial Engineering, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand

Received 1 November 2012; Accepted 1 February 2013

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The orthopedic outpatient department (OPD) ward in a large Thai public hospital is modeled using Discrete-Event Stochastic (DES) simulation. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are used to measure effects across various clinical operations during different shifts throughout the day. By considering various KPIs such as wait times to see doctors, percentage of patients who can see a doctor within a target time frame, and the time that the last patient completes their doctor consultation, bottlenecks are identified and resource-critical clinics can be prioritized. The simulation model quantifies the chronic, high patient congestion that is prevalent amongst Thai public hospitals with very high patient-to-doctor ratios. Our model can be applied across five different OPD wards by modifying the model parameters. Throughout this work, we show how DES models can be used as decision-support tools for hospital management.