Evaluating the design of a family practice healthcare clinic using discrete-event simulation

James R. Swisher, Sheldon H. Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With increased pressures from governmental and insurance agencies, today's physician devotes less time to patient care and more time to administration. To assist physician clinics in evaluating potential operating procedures that improve operating efficiencies and better satisfy patients, an object-oriented discrete-event simulation model has been constructed using the Visual Simulation Environment (VSE). The research presented herein describes a methodology for determining appropriate staffing and physical resources in a clinical environment using this simulation model. This methodology takes advantage of several simulation-based statistical techniques, including batch means; fractional factorial design; and simultaneous ranking, selection, and multiple comparisons. A clinic effectiveness measure is introduced that captures several objectives within a health care clinic, including profitability and patient satisfaction. An explanation of the experimental design is provided and results of the experimentation are presented. Based upon the experimental results, conclusions are drawn and recommendations are made for an appropriate staffing and facility size for a two physician family practice healthcare clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-88
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Care Management Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Professions(all)

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