Despite the relatively low incidence of traumatic spinal cord injury (tSCI), the management and care of persons with tSCI can be resource intensive and complex, spanning multiple phases of care and disciplines. Using a simulation model built with a system level view of the healthcare system allows for prediction of the impact of interventions on patient and system outcomes from injury through to community reintegration after tSCI. As has been previously described, the Access to Care and Timing (ACT) project developed a simulation model for tSCI care using techniques from operations research. The objective of this article is to briefly describe the methodology and the application of the ACT Model, as it was used in several of the articles in this focus issue. The approaches employed in this model provide a framework to look into the complexity of interactions both within and among the different SCI programs, sites, and phases of care.
Keywords: health progression model; operations research; processes of care; simulation model; spinal cord injury.