Healthcare Basics: Simulation and Data

In this final Healthcare Basics video, we’re
going to cover running a simulation and getting data from your simulation model.
We actually run the simulation using the simulation control bar. Reset refreshes the model, and
must be done before each new simulation run. When you press the Run button, your model
springs to life and begins to simulate the patient arrivals and activities you’ve set.
If you click the drop down menu for Run Time, you can choose the start and end times for
the simulation. The defaults have this simulation starting on a Monday at midnight, or 01:00:00
in our Day:Hour:Minute notation, and ending seven days later on the following Monday at
midnight. While the simulation is running, you have two options to speed it up. You can
press the Step button to step forward to the next event, and you can move the Run Speed
slider to the right. How about getting data from this simulation?
We’ll quickly go over the options available to you.
First, you can use the Dashboard to gather and display the statistics you’re interested
in. To use this tool, simply click the Dashboard button in the toolbar, and then “Add a Dashboard.”
When the Dashboard is the active tool, the Library will be populated with widgets, which
are the graphs, charts, and diagrams that display the data. Just drag a widget you’re
interested in from the Library and into the Dashboard; a window will pop up that will
let you customize the widget to display the information you need.
What widgets should you choose for your Dashboard? That depends on the problem you are trying
to solve in creating this simulation model. A few commonly used data points are the patient’s
length of stay and wait times, staff and equipment utilization, procedure cost, and the locations
that patients are spending most of their time. The chapter titled “Widget Overview” in the
user manual has basic descriptions for each widget in FlexSim Healthcare to help you figure
out the best options for your simulation model. The Experimenter might be the most powerful
tool available to you in FlexSim Healthcare, and can be found next to Dashboards in the
toolbar. Basically, it lets you run the same simulation model multiple times while testing
different variables. For example, you could run an experiment testing one or two nurses
in Triage, and see whether the patient’s waiting time is significantly affected by having just
one nurse. A discussion on the design and execution of experiments is a bit too much
for this video, but these topic are covered in detail in the user manual.
For both the Dashboard and Experimenter, you have the option to export the data to your
favorite spreadsheet application for further review. You can do this by clicking the “Excel”
button in the Dashboard’s Quick Properties, or by clicking “Export Dashboard Data” in
the Experimenter’s run control. You can choose what raw data and Dashboard widgets are included,
and you can also check the “Export to CSV” box if you’d like a comma separated values
file instead of the Excel file format. Thank you for watching the Healthcare Basics
videos series. We hope you feel confident and prepared to try your hand at healthcare
simulation modeling. Our comprehensive user manual can provide any additional information
you might need on FlexSim Healthcare’s features and functionality, and don’t forget that our
support team is always ready
to help.

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