Gunal, M and Pidd, M (2009) Discrete Event Simulation for Performance Modelling in Healthcare: A Review of the Literature. Working Paper. The Department of Management Science, Lancaster University.
Discrete Event Simulation (DES) has been widely used in modelling healthcare systems for many years and a simple citation analysis shows that the number of papers published has increased markedly since 2004. Over the last 30 years several significant reviews of DES papers have been published and we build on these to focus on the most recent era, with an interest in performance modelling within hospitals. Since there are few papers that propose or illustrate general approaches we classify papers the areas of application evident in the literature, discussing the apparent lack of genericity. There is considerable diversity in the objectives of reported studies and in the consequent level of detail: We discuss why specificity dominates and why more generic approaches are rare.
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