Lean Business Services is a leading company in the service and development of the healthcare sector in Saudi Arabia. Lean Business Services strives to improve the accuracy of public health indicators in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by developing innovative solutions thus boosting the health sector services.
Lean Business Services wanted to help the hospitals' emergency departments (emergency rooms / ERs) with healthcare resource utilization. Patient crowding in ER caused a series of negative effects. There was poor patient treatment, lengthy stays for patients, and general patient dissatisfaction. One way for ERs to optimize their performance was more efficient management of resources and personnel in their operations.
Congestion in emergency rooms caused several issues:
- An increase in patient length of stay (LOS)
- An increase in inpatient waiting time
- An increase in inpatient complications
- A decrease in healthcare quality
Lean Business Services intended to resolve these problems in emergency rooms. For a more informed management of resources, Lean’s engineers developed a simulation model. The model developers wanted to understand how to create a smooth patient flow and decrease the length of the patient stay. By doing so, they could simulate different situations in the model without risks and redundant costs.
The building of the ER simulation flow included four steps:
- Study and analyze the city's historical medical data
- Simulate exact patient flows in emergency rooms
- Build simulation designs as the ER blueprint
- Simulate patient and health resources in ERs
The simulation model was implemented using the discrete-event paradigm for modeling the operations of emergency rooms and modeling patient flows.
The model provided several what-if scenarios to see how the changes could affect the ER operations.
The Lean Business Services engineers simulated six different categories in ERs. For each category, the simulation provided different outputs.
The simulation model gave opportunities for the ER managers to make decisions by analyzing and evaluating different scenarios before implementing them in real life.
The modeling enabled them to:
- Identify the full capacity limit in emergency rooms. The simulation could help find the maximum capacity of patients in the hospital
- Identify the root cause of ER problems
- Decrease patient waiting time
- Better utilize human resources, e.g. transfer from another unit
Understanding and improving resource utilization as well as identifying areas of improvement became possible thanks to the simulations using AnyLogic software. In 2D and 3D views, a friendly user interface showed the operations of the emergency department and the exact patient flow within the ER and ran adjustable scenarios with their expertise.
Watch the video about this case study presented by Lean Business Services at the AnyLogic Conference 2021.