The objective of this project was to use an interdisciplinary approach to analyze strategies through simulation technology for improving patient flow in a pediatric hospital.BACKGROUND
Various statistics have been offered on the number of children admitted annually to hospitals. For administrators, particularly in smaller systems, the financial burden of equipping and staffing pediatric units often outweighs the moral desire to maintain a pediatric unit as a viable option for patients and pediatricians.METHODS
Discrete event simulation was used to model current operations of a pediatric unit. Cost analysis was conducted using simulation reflecting various percentages of patients being referred to a discharge holding area (DHA) upon discharge and of the use of all private rooms.RESULTS
Both DHA and private rooms resulted in increased patient volumes.CONCLUSIONS
Administrators should consider the use of a DHA and/or private rooms to ease the census strains of pediatric units and the resultant revenue of this service.