Modeling Healthcare at Different Abstraction Levels

There are many cases of simulation modeling in healthcare. Application areas can vary, from process optimization in hospitals to macrolevel agent-based epidemiology models. Due to its multimethod nature, AnyLogic allows models to be built at various abstraction levels. A good illustration of how researchers and consultants can apply the same tool to different problems is the three models built by the Stockholm County Health Administration in Sweden. The models included macro, meso, and micro abstraction level applications in healthcare simulation.

Modeling Healthcare at Different Abstraction Levels

The microlevel model simulated the maternity ward in a hospital that was currently under construction. The purpose of the model was to support discussions related to which resources, capacity, and work methods were required in the new ward. One relevant discussion was whether to keep mother and child in the same room during their entire stay or to have dedicated rooms for antenatal care, delivery, and postnatal care. The model supported the discussions and conclusions in a workshop format by allowing the stakeholders to experiment with the system, and helped them make motivated decisions. Project overview >>

In the next project, a mesolevel hospital simulation model was created to figure out whether they would get an acceptable level of care production in a projected hospital. Before the simulation project, the stakeholders’ attention focused on the various organizational parts of the hospital, but not on the hospital as a whole. This is a dangerous route to take, since a hospital is a system by itself and the interdependencies must be taken into account. The model was designed to reflect this systematic approach. Project overview >>

Lastly, a macrolevel healthcare simulation of the dialysis patient population was built to gain a better understanding of the consequences of having several decentralized dialysis caregivers, compared to more compact centralization. This model is currently being used as a decision support tool by the specialists involved in addressing the challenges of the dialysis care in the Stockholm County. Project overview >>

More healthcare simulation case studies can be found in the Success Stories section of our website.