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Using Web-Based Predictive Analytics to Improve Patient Flow in the Emergency Department

David Buckler

The 2010 Summer Computer Simulation Conference (SCSC 10)
Ottawa, Canada, July 11-14, 2010


CACI has developed a web-based decision support application that will allow Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals to utilize simulation to improve patient flow and bed management within their Emergency Departments (ED). In addition to more comfortable care for patients, the application will provide the hospital with an improved analytical approach to managing processes and resource management.

My presentation will discuss the lessons learned during my experience building this web-based decision support application that allows hospitals to utilize simulation when studying patient flow. The application itself provides a proactive versus reactive capability for managing processes and resources which allows the ED to continuously improve the way they manage patient flow.

Most simulations are desktop models that need trained professionals to execute them. This web-based tool allows hospital employees to run their own "what-if" scenarios by simply changing key parameters. The actual simulation model runs "behind the scenes" and returns only the information needed by the user, allowing them to get answers quickly and easily.

All of the modeling objects are located in a database so any hospital can piece together their unique business processes, resources, and patient profiles, and then run their own simulations. VA hospitals don't need to hire trained simulation professionals to conduct complicated and expensive process studies. This tool helps them get started fast to get the answers they want. In addition, the results of the models can be exported to any type of managerial tool, whether a balanced scorecard, dashboard, or other visual reporting software application.

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