How simulation is used in healthcare

Improving Health Outcomes of your Population

Planning for the health of a population is crucial to ensure better outcomes, manage demand and ensure effective services.

Our Scenario Generator simulation tool enables better care co-ordination, across a system, predicts demand, and test new models of care or treatment pathways.

Learn about Scenario Generator

What are the challenges of planning and improving population health?

Delivering excellent quality of care, at lower cost, while improving the health of the population is the challenge of the IHI’s Triple Aim.

Better care coordination, increased focus on patients with multiple chronic diseases and more efficient processes will improve patients’ lives and reduce costs.

But identifying the healthcare needs of a population and understanding how patient’s access and interact with services is complex. Networks of integrated healthcare delivery partners need to work together to efficiently improve clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Healthcare networks need to be able to understand:

  • How will shifting demographics and payments systems impact on services?
  • How can we explore the impact of system-wide changes with our partners and stakeholders?
  • Which interventions will be most effective in achieving targets such as 30-day re-admissions and reducing emergency waits?
  • Which part of the healthcare system gains or losses as a result of change, and how can the system be incentivized to change?
  • How can a system be made more resilient in the case of high demand (flu epidemics, winter pressures)?

"Scenario Generator helps our clinicians and managers to understand together how their system works, and to refine and develop the model as they define the key questions central to decision making in the health service."

Andrew Hughes, South East Public Health Observatory

How does simulation help improve strategic healthcare planning?

Predict population health, costs and capacity utilization.

Simulating a whole system allows you to examine the flow of patients from an attributed population into services and measure activity, resource utilization and cost across organizational boundaries. From a patient’s first contact with a primary care physician, through the hospital and on to community services.

You can then test changes to any part of the system, see the outcome, and use the evidence to support strategic decision making and the planning, financing and design of new models of care.

Simulation enables you to fully understand how value-based payment programs, evolving patient insurance status, aging demographics, and clinical interventions will come together for your organization.

"Simulation has really helped us to understand the impact of increasing numbers of people living with dementia over time, and how we need to plan to make sure we have the right services in place at the right time in the future."

Peter Fryers, Senior Public Health Advisor, NHS

Why use simulation for planning population health services?

Benefit 1

Plan and design new models of care

Simulation modeling helps decision-making in any part of a health and social care system.

Using simulation organizations can develop strategies to become more efficient by effectively managing the risks of any system changes and design of new models of care.

Benefit 2

Test changes and contingency plans

Users can test the possible impact of many different types of change; like increase in demand for services, changes to the way services are delivered, or the implementation of a new national policy initiative to help understand how their system might behave as a result of any change.

Benefit 3

Visualize pathways and gain consensus

Scenario Generator allows you to create a visual representation of your care pathways that will assist in engaging all levels of management and help in gaining consensus from decision makers.

Could simulation enhance your strategic planning?

Talk to us about your challenges, ask our healthcare simulation expert questions and explore Scenario Generator’s features in a confidential demonstration.

Mount Sinai
Population health case study

Mount Sinai Hospital simulated maternity services and tested improvement scenarios for insured vs. uninsured women to understand the impact of service changes on patient care outcomes, bed capacity utilization, and cost.

“Scenario Generator was the only tool available to build a case for developing pre-natal services for this vulnerable population and without it we wouldn’t have come as far along in the process in terms of having evidence for decision makers.”

View the case study

Learn more about using simulation for population health


Improving Health Outcomes of Your Population using Simulation

How can you meet the Triple Aim objectives of quality of care, costs and better healthcare for populations?

Discover how simulation can be used to tackle key population health issues such as stroke care, dementia planning and pre-natal care.

Download the whitepaper


Testing Population Health Models of Care

How are population health strategies being implemented in different countries around the world?

Learn how simulation has been used to track flow through the entire healthcare network and understand the impact of changes.

Watch the webinar

Case study

Planning for Integrated Care

How can you assess the impact of an aging population on demand for services?

Discover how NHS Fife simulated their local health and social care system and tested what would happen if a virtual ward was introduced.

View the case study

Further resources

Redefining the care team to meet population health objectives

Dr. Philip Smeltzer from The Medical University of South Carolina demonstrates an interactive simulation that helps physicians adopt a population health mindset.

Population health planning and forecasting in acute and chronic disease

Learn out how simulation is helping to support the planning, decision-making and adoption of person-centered services for people living with multiple conditions.

A guide to using simulation and health economics

Find out more about using simulation for health economic analyss with our getting started guide and supporting resources.

Saving lives with streamlined processes

South African charity Shout It Now used simulation to more than double the number of HIV patients treated per day.

Modeling an integrated system for obesity and weight management

This workshop explores the challenges in commissioning a healthcare organization to provide an integrated service for obesity, weight management, and treatment in Nottinghamshire County, UK

Simulation for health economic analysis

This workshop justifies the use of discrete-event simulation by health economists as a means to provide accurate assessments of value for medical products or services.

Supporting Vulnerable Communities' Health Needs Before they "Fall through the Cracks"

With unmanaged chronic conditions and a poor socioeconomic environment, many vulnerable communities are left without proper healthcare or human services support. This paper discussses how simulation is being used to predict the needs of those with multiple chronic conditions.

Chronic disease: more than medicine

This paper discusses the approach NHS England has taken in adopting new models of care and how simulation is helping to support decision-making and dissemination of the concept.

Person-centred care – fantasy, fad or far-reaching in its potential?

Person-centred care seems to be the latest thing the NHS has suddenly started to get excited about, but is it real, is it of value, will it last or is it the latest fad?

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