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By C. Laroque, J. Himmelspach, R. Pasupathy, O. Rose, A. M. Uhrmacher, Richard J. Boucherie, Erwin W. Hans and Timo Hartmann


Planning and scheduling of health care processes has improved considerably using operations research techniques. Besides analytical and optimization tools, a substantial amount of sophisticated discrete event simulation tools supporting (re-)design of existing logistical processes in and around hospitals has been developed. Surprisingly, these studies to a large extent consider a health care facility’s physical configuration to be given and fixed (unchangeable). As layout has considerable influence on the facility’s logistical performance (e.g., walking distance or transportation time of hospital beds), including layout in the optimization process seems to be a natural next step in further improving the possibilities to better plan and optimize health care processes. This paper illustrates the potential of accounting for building layout while using operational research optimization methods and discrete event simulation during the design of a new health care facility. To this end, we consider two developed discrete event simulation models of health care operations and evaluate how these two simulation models could benefit from a combination with building modeling methods to allow for the concurrent design of health processes and the buildings that need to host them. Based on this evaluation, the paper closes with a discussion of the benefits that such integration would offer.

Year: 2014
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