Healthcare simulation tutorial: Methods, challenges, and opportunities

Michelle Alvarado, Mark Lawley, Yan Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Simulation in healthcare is becoming an increasingly important methodology for systems improvement projects. For any given project, the simulation methodology to be used is highly application-dependent. The majority of healthcare simulation models are performed with one of three methodologies: discrete- event simulation, system dynamics, or agent-based modeling. In this tutorial we will present examples of real-world projects applied using each method. These examples, some taken from our own research, will range from complex disease progression and social determinants of health to problems in resource planning, scheduling, and allocation. We will also discuss simulation challenges unique to healthcare such as privacy and security; regulation; IRB approval; data quality, availability, and collection; interdisciplinary collaboration and facility access. Finally, we will present our thoughts on emerging opportunities for healthcare simulation such as perioperative care; coordination across the care continuum; population health management; patient health belief and behavior; and emerging healthcare regulation and policy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2016 Winter Simulation Conference
Subtitle of host publicationSimulating Complex Service Systems, WSC 2016
EditorsTheresa M. Roeder, Peter I. Frazier, Robert Szechtman, Enlu Zhou
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781509044863
StatePublished - 2 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event2016 Winter Simulation Conference, WSC 2016 - Arlington, United States
Duration: 11 Dec 201614 Dec 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings - Winter Simulation Conference
ISSN (Print)0891-7736


Conference2016 Winter Simulation Conference, WSC 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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