Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.


Industrial Engineering

Committee Chair

Depuy, Gail W.


Hospital care--Computer simulation; Hospitals--Computer simulation; Medical appointments and schedules


With more and more attention surrounding healthcare, Industrial Engineers have championed the task to help hospitals and outpatient centers operate as efficiently as possible. Simulation is often used to analyze hospital performance measures. The University of Louisville Health Care Outpatient Center is a relatively new building occupying 169,000 ft2 and opened in October of 2008. The clinic is experiencing uneven workloads, over scheduling of Medical Assistants, and highly variable patient waiting times. The Arena Simulation package has been used to develop a model of the outpatient center's current state. Using the data from July 2009 the model has been validated and verified. The model uses actual patient arrival data and discrete probability distributions to describe the current patient processing scheme for 41 doctors who regularly operate out of the outpatient center. Utilization rates for doctors were generally very high, but great variability was also present. Room utilization rates were lower than the author expected, confirming that the clinic could potentially house more doctors. Medical Assistants (MA) and doctors had almost equal numbers of patients waiting for them so it can be suggested that when deciding staffing levels MAs and doctors should be added at a one to one ratio. Patient waiting times were also highly variable based on which doctor was being visited and it was suggested that the current doctors review their scheduled patient visit times to make sure they are scheduling for an accurate time. Further research can be done to increase usability and add animation to the model.