Discrete-event simulation of health care systems

Sheldon Howard Jacobson, Shane N. Hall, James R. Swisher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Over the past 40 years, health care organizations have faced ever-increasing pressures to deliver quality care while facing rising costs, lower reimbursements, and new regulatory demands. Discrete-event simulation has become a popular and effective decision-making tool for the optimal allocation of scarce health care resources to improve patient flow, while minimizing health care delivery costs and increasing patient satisfaction. The proliferation of increasingly sophisticated discrete-event simulation software packages has resulted in a large number of new application opportunities, including more complex implementations. In addition, combined optimization and simulation tools allow decisionmakers to quickly determine optimal system configurations, even for complex integrated facilities. This chapter provides an overview of discrete-event simulation modeling applications to health care clinics and integrated health care systems (e.g., hospitals, outpatient clinics, emergency departments, and pharmacies) over the past 40 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Series in Operations Research and Management Science
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages37
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Publication series

NameInternational Series in Operations Research and Management Science
ISSN (Print)0884-8289


  • Clinics
  • Discrete-event simulation
  • Health care services
  • Hospitals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Applied Mathematics

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