Improving Population Health with Simulation

Planning for the health of a population is crucial to ensure the best outcomes, manage demand and deliver effective services.

Simulation helps healthcare organizations to understand the impact of population health issues and achieve the IHI Triple Aim of quality of care, reduced per capita cost and better health for populations.


Using simulation to test population health models of care

Delivering excellent quality of care, at lower cost, while improving the health of the population is the challenge of the IHI’s Triple Aim.

Better care coordination, increased focus on patients with multiple chronic diseases and more efficient processes will improve patients’ lives and reduce costs.

But identifying the healthcare needs of a population and understanding how patient’s access and interact with services is complex. Networks of integrated healthcare delivery partners need to work together to efficiently improve clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Healthcare networks need to be able to understand:

  • How will shifting demographics and payments systems impact on services?
  • How can we explore the impact of system-wide changes with our partners and stakeholders?
  • Which interventions will be most effective in achieving targets such as 30-day re-admissions and reducing emergency waits?
  • Which part of the healthcare system gains or losses as a result of change, and how can the system be incentivized to change?
  • How can a system be made more resilient in the case of high demand (flu epidemics, winter pressures)?

Simulation can help healthcare delivery networks to answer these questions and more by providing evidence on how to meet the Triple Aim objectives of quality of care, costs and better healthcare for populations.

How can simulation be used to improve population health?


Simulating a whole system allows you to understand the complexity of the system, examine the flow of patients from an attributed population into services and measure activity, resource utilization and cost across organizational boundaries.

From a patient’s first contact with a primary care physician, through the hospital and on to community services, simulation allows you to understand their journey.

Test a change in any part of the system, see the outcome, and use the evidence to support strategic decision making and the planning, financing and design of new models of care.

With healthcare simulation software, you can get a handle on how value-based payment programs, evolving patient insurance status, aging demographics, and clinical interventions will impact your organization.

Our population health forecasting model allows you to associate age-banded populations with disease prevalence and use of healthcare services.

It predicts likely demand into the system year-on-year, and therefore the impact on costs, activity, resource and outcome as the demand flows through the system.

Webinar

Testing Population Health Models of Care

Claire Cordeaux discusses her experiences of developing and implementing population health strategies in the UK National Health Service, Canada, and Australia.

Learn how our unique approach predicts how an attributed population will flow through the entire healthcare network and understand how changes will impact cost, capacity, revenues and wait time.

This creates operational evidence for strategic decisions, reducing system wide risk, deriving financial benefits, and enhancing clinical outcomes for patients.

Watch the webinar
Claire Cordeaux

Featured population health resources


Further resources


Dr. Philip Smeltzer from The Medical University of South Carolina demonstrates an interactive simulation that helps physicians adopt a population health mindset.


Find out more about using simulation for health economic analyss with our getting started guide and supporting resources.


South African charity Shout It Now used simulation to more than double the number of HIV patients treated per day.


This workshop explores the challenges in commissioning a healthcare organization to provide an integrated service for obesity, weight management, and treatment in Nottinghamshire County, UK


This workshop justifies the use of discrete-event simulation by health economists as a means to provide accurate assessments of value for medical products or services.


With unmanaged chronic conditions and a poor socioeconomic environment, many vulnerable communities are left without proper healthcare or human services support. This paper discussses how simulation is being used to predict the needs of those with multiple chronic conditions.

See SIMUL8 in action

View videos of SIMUL8 and learn about the benefits of healthcare simulation.


Watch now

Request a SIMUL8 demo

Arrange a personalized online demonstration of SIMUL8 with our dedicated healthcare team.


Get a demo

Healthcare resources

Access more information to learn about how simulation is used in healthcare.


Access now