Visual simulation in hospitals: A managerial or a political tool?
European Journal of Operational Research
Jones, L. M. H., Andrew J. (1987). Visual simulation in hospitals: A managerial or a political tool? [Journal Article]. European Journal of Operational Research, 29(2), 167-177. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0377-2217(87)90106-8
In hospitals, managerial change is often a matter of negotiation and discussion between medical, administrative and nursing disciplines. Any OR intervention should therefore: (a) be easily understandable by all concerned; (b) aid discussion of options. Visual interactive simulation meets these requirements. A complex of surgical services comprising several wards and operating theatres has been modelled, in such a way that movements of patients, variation in waiting lists, bed occupancy etc. can all be seen on a visual display screen. A simultaneous study of the managerial environment of the surgical unit has revealed the importance of internal politics, and the role which the simulation model may play in bids for resources. It is suggested that it is normal for OR projects to be used in this way. The implications for design of OR projects are discussed.