Introduction: In this article, we present a simulation study conducted in the emergency department at the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital.
Methods: Based on analysis of process and flow data, a simulation model of patient throughput in the emergency department has been developed.
Results: What-if analyses have been proposed to identify bottlenecks and investigate the optimal numbers of human and equipment resources (eg, nurses, physicians, and radiology technology). The simulation results suggest that 3 additional nurses are needed to ensure desired clinical outcomes. Diagnostic testing, the computed tomography scan in particular, is found to be a bottleneck. As a result, acquisition of an additional computed tomography scanner is recommended. Hospital management has accepted the recommendations, and implementation is in progress.
Discussion: Such a model provides a quantitative tool for continuous improvement and process control in the emergency department and also is applicable to other departments in the hospital.
2010 Emergency Nurses Association. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.