Health Care Operations

There are so many cases to apply simulation method in the health care organization in which it might be useful in evaluating and improving the situation. As the healthcare environment is growing day by day to cater various needs of the patients, the cost of health care operation execution and their maintenance is also increasing.

The stress to manage costs is higher than ever, so, there is a critical need for powerful tools which can help clinicians and administrators make good decisions on how to achieve quality of care within the existing costs.

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In addition, the highly stochastic nature of disease processes, as well as the complication of subsystem communications, makes simulation the decision-support tool of alternative for analyzing the organization and delivery of healthcare services.

Applications: some of the applications in healthcare organization are Hospital management, waiting queue, patient record entry errors, Medical billing computerization and serialization of records etc.

Simulation is the imitation or representation of one major act or a system or an operation of an actual process by a minor sample, a simulation is important for assessing and comparing proposed process changes.

Simulations can mainly be used for four purposes—Education, assessment, research, and health system integration in facilitating patient safety. Each of these purposes may be met by some combination of role play, low and high tech tools, and a variety of settings from tabletop sessions to a realistic full mission environment.

Simulations may also be used to our consideration of human behavior and realistic life settings in which professionals operate. The link that ties together all these activities is the act of imitating or representing some situation or process from the simple to the very complex.

Healthcare simulation is a range of activities that share a broad, similar purpose – to improve the safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of healthcare services.

Simulation in “Waiting of patients:”

The health care providers almost universally suffer from unacceptable waiting room delays which could be addressed by using simulation. In the hospital management system the number of complaints is increasing regarding the long waiting room delays through out the system because of this problem two approaches were piloted in a pediatric department.

First one is development of a quality management project in understanding of the pediatric patient flow process, surveyed customer expectations, and a cross functional team to brainstorm possible solutions. Even though several improvement ideas were generated, considerable ambiguity and dissimilarity existed within the group as to which of the ideas would significantly reduce the patient waiting process.

Baseline Measures and Targets:

The amounts of time spending by patients in each process step were determined via several data collections. These baseline measures were used later to estimate, via simulation, the advantages of proposed improvements.

Although initial data were collected manually and via stop watch, hand-held bar code readers and special purpose commercial software greatly simplified most data collection and analysis. The accurate times at which patients moved through the pediatric process were recorded easily by attaching bar coded stickers to each patient’s paper work.

By this analysis it was revealed that patients waited for an average of approximately 26 minutes to consult their primary provider, but a survey indicated that the wait exceeding 15 minutes usually were unacceptable.

Simulation in Clinical Education:

The other opportunity that simulation might be useful in healthcare organization is healthcare education. ‘Simulation education’ is a connection between classroom learning and real-life clinical or operation theater experience.

Apprentice’ and patients – can learn how to do injections by practicing on a soft ball with a real needle and syringe. Much more complex simulation exercises and performing human functions realistically in a healthcare setting such as an operation theater or critical care unit that is impossible to differentiate from the real thing.

Whether training in a full operation environment or working with a desk top virtual reality machine that records the features of a risky procedure, training simulations do not put actual patients at risk. Healthcare personnel are subjected to unique risks in real settings too, from such things as infected needles, knife blades and other sharps as well as electrical equipment, and they are also protected during simulations that allow them to perfect their skill.