Strategic Planning in Healthcare with Simulation

Understand the impact of strategic healthcare changes on demand, activity, cost, capacity and waiting times using simulation.

From modeling the impact of change across organizational boundaries to staff and workforce planning, SIMUL8 can help you to improve quality of care, reduce costs and improve population health.

How can simulation be used for strategic decision making in healthcare?

Simulation can be used for both strategic and operational decision making in healthcare organizations.

With simulation you can test a change in any part of the system, see the outcome, and support strategic decision making and the planning, financing and design of new models of care.

This allows you to ensure that you have evidence for change, know what resource is required and ensures you deliver on the triple aim of quality of care, cost and better health for populations.

Simulation software enables healthcare organizations to understand the impact of trends such as value-based payment programs, evolving patient insurance status, aging demographics, and clinical interventions.

Uses of simulation for strategic planning

Simulation can be used to support decision making in many areas of strategic planning, from future service provision to spatial design, to managing risk and testing contingency plans.

Hospital planning, design and construction

Designing spaces and layouts for healthcare is an exceptionally difficult task. This is due to the many complexities that need to be considered, including patient-specific factors, a highly structured regulatory environment, and continually evolving clinical practice patterns.

Simulation creates an environment where you can truly see what's happening to patient and staff flow from a bird's eye view and gain a deeper understanding of how each component directly (and indirectly) affects another.

Healthcare supply chain management

Effectively managing a healthcare organization's supply and demand can significantly increase patient care while also reducing costs.

Healthcare requires supplies to function effectively and be available at the right time to ensure the service is efficient and achieve the best patient outcomes. This often requires cross-department and cross-organizational working, with timing and location as key factors.

Simulation allows you to reduce waste, avoid stock-outs, test the automation of manual processes and try different improvement ideas without impacting patient care.

Capacity and utilization management

Setting optimal utilization targets depends on a number of complex factors such as your market, your patients, and your goals.

Simulation can be used to pinpoint the right target for your facility. With a simple simulation you can run many scenarios in order to understand the trade-off between total cost and the number of staff.

These results can provide insight for how many staff you need, understanding what utilization targets should be and anticipating your annualized staffing costs.

Healthcare staff and workforce planning

Staff are the largest ongoing operational expense in healthcare and therefore it is vitally important that workforce planning is considered throughout healthcare processes.

Simulation can be used at every stage of workforce planning to ensure that staff are available in the right numbers, with the right skill mix, values and behaviors to deliver high quality care for patients.

Simulation can help answer a range of ‘what if’ questions such as:

  • What would happen if we changed the duration of a shift?
  • What will happen if we modify a protocol?
  • What is the ideal skill mix for the new unit?
  • How can I minimize the overtime staff have to work?
  • At what point do we need to call in extra support?

To find out more about our work in these areas please get in touch with our dedicated healthcare team.

Webinar: Simulating a Secure Solution for the US Drug Supply Chain

Robert Celeste, former Senior Director at GS1 US, explores how simulation was used to map the supply chain process and gain consensus on a process that would meet the needs of State and Federal regulators.

Featured strategic planning with simulation resources

Case study

Geisinger Health System introduces an on-demand patient meal service with 98% SLA

Patient food service is one aspect of healthcare which is often scrutinized, becoming a central issue for hospital administrators in recent years.

Read the case study

Simulation for Design

Spatial design cannot take place without knowing how the space will be used. Read our whitepaper to understand how using simulation allows you to test alternatives and find the best possible layout for your situation.

Read the whitepaper

Simulation for Strategic Workforce Planning

Learn how simulation was used to re-work nursing roles at an outpatient procedure clinic to release more time to care, and how staff availability impacted patient flow at an outpatient surgery clinic. We also demonstrate how these results could be used for whole system workforce planning.

Watch webinar

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See SIMUL8 in action

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Healthcare resources

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

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