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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4189206, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/4189206
Research Article

Using the Integration of Discrete Event and Agent-Based Simulation to Enhance Outpatient Service Quality in an Orthopedic Department

1Graduate Institute of Industrial and Business Management, National Taipei University of Technology, No. 1, Section 3, Zhongxiao E. Road, Taipei 10608, Taiwan
2Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, National Taipei University of Technology, No. 1, Section 3, Zhongxiao E. Road, Taipei 10608, Taiwan

Received 1 August 2015; Revised 29 January 2016; Accepted 22 February 2016

Academic Editor: John S. Katsanis

Copyright © 2016 Cholada Kittipittayakorn and Kuo-Ching Ying. 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

Many hospitals are currently paying more attention to patient satisfaction since it is an important service quality index. Many Asian countries’ healthcare systems have a mixed-type registration, accepting both walk-in patients and scheduled patients. This complex registration system causes a long patient waiting time in outpatient clinics. Different approaches have been proposed to reduce the waiting time. This study uses the integration of discrete event simulation (DES) and agent-based simulation (ABS) to improve patient waiting time and is the first attempt to apply this approach to solve this key problem faced by orthopedic departments. From the data collected, patient behaviors are modeled and incorporated into a massive agent-based simulation. The proposed approach is an aid for analyzing and modifying orthopedic department processes, allows us to consider far more details, and provides more reliable results. After applying the proposed approach, the total waiting time of the orthopedic department fell from 1246.39 minutes to 847.21 minutes. Thus, using the correct simulation model significantly reduces patient waiting time in an orthopedic department.