Impact of Simulation in Healthcare Ebook

Bringing together the experience of SIMUL8 clients and our consultant team, this ebook outlines 10 common healthcare problems that can be solved with simulation.

If you're new to simulation or want to communicate its benefits to colleagues, this guide explains how simulation works and demonstrates its value for healthcare organizations through case studies and example simulations.

Download the ebook

Using simulation for quality improvement in healthcare

Healthcare organizations and systems are complex with a wide range of variables that impact performance and patient care.

Variation across demand, forecasting, wait times, resource constraints and utilization, as well as financial limitations, make planning and implementing process improvements challenging for healthcare providers.

This is why healthcare providers use simulation - computer-based models that produce a visual and dynamic picture of the impact of decisions.

Almost anything can be simulated - from the flow of patients through an E.R., to the staff schedule for an inpatient unit or call center, or the day-to-day operations of the central sterile department.

By simulating healthcare processes, you can understand complex cause and effect relationships, test changes to processes in a safe, risk-free environment, and use the results to make strong, evidence-based decisions.

About the guide

SIMUL8's dedicated healthcare team have developed a wealth of performance improvement experience by working with our clients around the globe for over 20 years.

We’ve created this guide for healthcare professionals to consolidate and share our expertise in applying simulation to solve healthcare problems. It summarizes the most effective uses of simulation, and includes tips on how to approach and manage simulation projects.

What’s included in this guide?

An introduction to simulation

An overview of how simulation works

Top 10 high impact changes

  1. Understand where variation occurs and the impact it has on services
  2. Effectively utilizing resources
  3. Reducing handoffs
  4. Evaluate the impact of change over time
  5. Identifying bottlenecks in a complex environment
  6. Population health and reducing obesity
  7. Supporting patients in ‘out of hospital’ settings
  8. Managing care for people with long-term conditions
  9. Reconfiguring services without risk
  10. How many hospital and community beds do you need?

Using simulation as part of the change process

Simulation tips – recommendations from our users

"Working in partnership with our users around the world, we are continually applying simulation to healthcare problems. We have had the opportunity to understand the typical process flows in healthcare in detail and are delighted to share some of our learning.

This guide is by no means the final word on healthcare simulation - as a team, we’re still learning every day about new and valuable applications! We’d like to thank all the contributors to this guide, as well as all the organizations we have worked with over the years.

We hope you find the guide useful. If you have any comments or questions, please get in touch - we'd love to hear from you!"

Claire Cordeaux, Executive Director, Health and Social Care, SIMUL8 Corporation

The healthcare simulation solution of choice

SIMUL8 is used by leading healthcare organizations to improve processes, increase efficiency and reduce costs.

American Red Cross
Boston Scientific
Vidant Health
Mount Sinai
Kaiser Permanente

Johns Hopkins

Johns Hopkins have used simulation for over 10 years to improve emergency department patient flow across their hospital network.

"We need to use analytical tools, including SIMUL8, to make sure we are getting the highest performance we can out of the most reasonable amount of resources."

Memorial Health System

Memorial Health System improved patient waiting times and ensured the feasibility of a $31 million operating room expansion using simulation.

"SIMUL8 has been valuable for expanding our range and depth of analytical abilities. It should be considered an important tool in every improvement program."


The UK NHS have evaluated the impact of an aging population on demand, as well as the introduction of new services.

"Simulation results showed us the impact of introducing the new service, but also helped us see how demand would grow as a result of the growing population."

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