Earlier this year, my family and I took a vacation to a certain kid-friendly theme park. As we wandered from ride to ride, we couldn’t help but note that, even at the peak times on the more popular rides, you rarely saw crowds standing outside waiting. The long lines were all contained within a succession of fairly climate-controlled rooms that obviously took some thought to plan. This particular company is big into predictive analytics, so I would hazard to say that they didn’t just guess at the maximum size of the line at peak time; they are probably not going to go live with a new attraction or other big change unless they simulate it first. An interesting dynamic that we observed was that when a wait time for an attraction was lowered on their new mobile app, we could literally see the “flash mob” of patrons converge on that ride, causing the line to go from a 10-minute wait to a 30-minute wait in the blink of an eye. I turned to my husband, who is also an engineer and a geek, and said “I wondered if their model predicted that.”
Theme parks obviously need to be concerned about a positive overall visitor experience; after all, they are always competing for discretionary funds with other sources of entertainment. Now, more and more hospitals are developing that same mindset: being cognizant of the overall patient experience to the point of modeling new spaces before they go live. How many OR rooms should they outfit for opening day, and how many can wait? How can they make the best use of the spare rooms? Is there enough space in the corridors that the patients won’t feel too crowded? Is there enough space in the waiting areas for the families of the outpatients? How many staff members do they need for each department to minimize patient wait time? Are there any unforeseen bottlenecks due to sudden dynamic shifts? These are just a few of the questions that simulation can answer.
Check out Jennifer’s Ambulatory Care/OR Suite Model:
Before joining ProModel in 2013, Jennifer spent 15 years in the automation industry working for a custom turnkey integrator. As an Applications Engineer she built simulation models (primarily using ProModel) to demonstrate throughput capacity of proposed equipment solutions for a variety of customers. Jennifer’s experience covers a wide range of industrial solutions – from power-and-free conveyor systems to overhead gantries and robotic storage and retrieval systems. She has also created applications in the pharmaceutical, medical device, automotive, and consumer appliance industries.
Jennifer has a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.