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Healthcare Simulation Improves Emergency Response and Preparedness


The Challenge

To fully understand the complexities and interdependencies that exist in a hospital, emergency department or emergency response.

The Arena Solution

As the previous examples demonstrate, Discrete Event Simulation can be utilized to model many aspects of emergency preparedness and response.  It is also widely used throughout the healthcare industry to simulate a broad range operations, including the following:

  • Patient Flow
  • Doctor/Nurse Schedules
  • Patient Schedules
  • Treatment plans and protocols
  • Drug/vaccine distribution
  • Emergency Departments
  • Surgical Centers
  • Urgent Care Facilities
  • Physician Practices
  • Cancer Research Institutes
  • Pharmacy Departments
  • Facility Layout Planning


Making critical decisions about emergency preparedness and response is fraught with risk.  The implication of making the wrong decision can mean the difference between life and death.  Arena is a proven tool that enables healthcare organizations and emergency responders to test out the validity of their plans, to evaluate alternatives and to optimize their response to possible scenarios in a quick and cost effective manner.

Arena simulation software is an accepted and proven tool that enables healthcare organizations to address critical issues like the following:

  • Optimal staffing levels to meet demand
  • Improving allocation of equipment, resources and staff
  • Evaluating and enhancing patient admission processes
  • Reducing patient cost and time in system
  • Improving patient satisfaction
  • Increasing doctor/nurse retention rates
  • Evaluating and improving Disaster/Emergency Response Planning


The Ebola epidemic in western Africa and recent outbreaks in the USA and Europe have caused hospitals, healthcare organizations and emergency response teams to take a hard look at their preparedness and ability to deal with an outbreak.  Unfortunately, recent cases in the USA have demonstrated that paper plans don’t always play out as intended.