Transient modeling in simulation of hospital operations for emergency response

Prehosp Disaster Med. 2006 Jul-Aug;21(4):223-36. doi: 10.1017/s1049023x00003757.


Rapid estimates of hospital capacity after an event that may cause a disaster can assist disaster-relief efforts. Due to the dynamics of hospitals, following such an event, it is necessary to accurately model the behavior of the system. A transient modeling approach using simulation and exponential functions is presented, along with its applications in an earthquake situation. The parameters of the exponential model are regressed using outputs from designed simulation experiments. The developed model is capable of representing transient, patient waiting times during a disaster. Most importantly, the modeling approach allows real-time capacity estimation of hospitals of various sizes and capabilities. Further, this research is an analysis of the effects of priority-based routing of patients within the hospital and the effects on patient waiting times determined using various patient mixes. The model guides the patients based on the severity of injuries and queues the patients requiring critical care depending on their remaining survivability time. The model also accounts the impact of prehospital transport time on patient waiting time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • California
  • Disaster Planning*
  • Disasters
  • Efficiency, Organizational*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Research