Using Virtual Discrete Event Simulation in Operating Room Design to Enhance Patient Throughput and Capacity

The organization used both discrete event and live simulation methodologies to ensure the smooth relocation of a perioperative services department. Within the Lean Six Sigma Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) framework, it examined current state process mapping, future state process mapping and stakeholder analysis to determine the changes required to meet customer specifications. Once the future state process was determined, a discrete event simulation predicted the new process would maintain the current level of service experienced by customers. The team then organized a live simulation to further analyze process steps, ratify the discrete event simulation results and prepare staff for the changes presented in the new environment.

The organization used both discrete event and live simulation methodologies to ensure the smooth relocation of a perioperative services department. Within the Lean Six Sigma Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) framework, it examined current state process mapping, future state process mapping and stakeholder analysis to determine the changes required to meet customer specifications. Once the future state process was determined, a discrete event simulation predicted the new process would maintain the current level of service experienced by customers. The team then organized a live simulation to further analyze process steps, ratify the discrete event simulation results and prepare staff for the changes presented in the new environment.

The simulations eased staff stress over the new environment and allowed the team to adjust the process as necessary. The combined use of discrete event and live simulation informed the future use of simulation, especially as the organization completed work on a new, fully equipped simulation center.

This case study is part of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association's annual Quality Excellence Achievement Awards. Each year, IHA recognizes and celebrates the achievements of Illinois hospitals and health systems in continually improving and transforming health care in the state. These organizations are improving health by striving to achieve the Triple Aim—improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction), improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of health care—and the Institute of Medicine's six aims for improvement—safe, effective, patient centered, timely, efficient, and equitable. To learn more, visit https://www.ihaqualityawards.org/javascript-ui/IHAQualityAward/

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