Issue: 2020/Vol.30/No.3, Pages 5-19


Maria Hajłasz, Bożena Mielczarek

Full paper (PDF)    RePEC

Cite as: M. Hajłasz, B. Mielczarek. Simulation modelling for predicting hospital admissions and bed utilisation. Operations Research and Decisions 2020: 30(3), 5-19. DOI 10.37190/ord200301

Demographic research of the world population shows that societies are ageing. The ongoing changes in the population structure will require appropriate quantitative and qualitative adjustments in health services to meet the needs of society. Simulation methods turn out to be helpful in these kinds of analyses. In this paper, the authors present a case study on using discrete event simulation (DES) to support decision-making in the field of hospital bed management in the light of demographic changes. The case study was elaborated for one of the Polish district hospitals. A DES model was built to simu- late admissions to two hospital wards: paediatric and geriatric. A series of experiments were carried out as based on real data extracted from the hospital database and forecasted demographic trends elaborated by the Central Statistical Office of Poland (CSO). The influence of demographic changes on hospital admissions in the chosen age-gender cohorts was explored, examining different variants of hospital bed availability. The results of the experiments show that demographic trends significantly influence healthcare admission and bed utilisation. The reduction in the number of admissions to the paediatric ward by about 6% results in a change in average bed utilisation from 57.90% to 54.06%. With about 12% more admissions to the geriatric ward, the change is from 68.88% to 75.59%.

Keywords: simulation modelling, bed management, healthcare, ageing.

Received: 10 December 2019    Accepted: 23 September 2020