Developing a simulation model for patient flow in specialized outpatient clinics
Tay, Hui Yi
Date of Issue2015
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
As with every ageing population, demand for healthcare services is expected to rise in the near future. While healthcare service providers expand to cope with rising demand, they are also constantly looking into improvements that can be implemented to increase service quality levels. One of the major service quality indices is waiting time for patients. Government-backed institutions such as a hospitals and polyclinics in particular, due to their subsidized fees, experience prolonged waiting times compared to private service providers. Allowing this common issue to persist in greeting any visitor frustrates patients in need of swift medical attention. While seemingly prevalent, reducing waiting time presents a deeply complex problem that demands intricate analysis and modeling systems to flag areas for improvement. A study is done on the patient flow in the Specialist Outpatient Clinic of Tan Tock Seng Hospital. In this study, possible causes of prolonged waiting time are examined and potential methods for reduction of waiting time proposed. Simulation software, MedModel, is then used to model the patient flow and operation processes for Musculo Skeletal Centre A. Data provided by the hospital is used as inputs the software to replicate current situations and establish an accurate baseline for analysis purposes. Possible factors contributing to prolonged waiting time are identified for discussion. Various "What-if" scenarios are further generated by the simulation by varying different parameters such as increasing number of doctors, or altering the patient "No-Show" rate. The report will conclude by suggesting possible areas of improvements to target in order to reduce waiting time experienced by patients and increase service quality levels.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University