A new data source to support hospital operations modeling, message-exchange protocols as illustrated through simulation Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2017 “IISE”. Studies pertaining to hospital operations typically face significant data collection challenges, particularly when defining patient flow patterns. The majority of such studies determine patient flows through observations, stakeholder interviews, and historical patient data analysis. Such methods are time-consuming and typically omit important interactions between resources and patients. This leads to incomplete descriptions of current practices, which can hinder the development and practical application of quantitative models. Furthermore, such processes are expensive and, possibly, subjective. This article presents a methodology for collecting large volumes of very detailed patient flow information. This information is obtained from message-exchange protocols used by hospital information systems to communicate among themselves. The methodology outlines a procedure for extracting detailed information related to (1) individual patient paths, (2) interaction among shared resources, and (3) task duration. The granularity of this information is flexible but can cover various actions in great detail, such as time, location, and person conducting a particular lab test. In this article, we present the general framework of the proposed method, steps for extracting patient flow information, and an illustrative example of a well-known problem from hospital operations management.

author list (cited authors)

  • Konrad, R., Vanberkel, P., & Lawley, M.

citation count

  • 0

publication date

  • December 2016