Discrete-event simulation (DES) is a stochastic modeling approach widely used to address dynamic and complex systems, such as healthcare. In this review, academic databases were systematically searched to identify 231 papers focused on DES modeling in healthcare. These studies were sorted by year, approach, healthcare setting, outcome, provenance, and software use. Among the surveys, conceptual/theoretical studies, reviews, and case studies, it was found that almost two-thirds of the theoretical articles discuss models that include DES along with other analytical techniques, such as optimization and lean/six sigma, and one-third of the applications were carried out in more than one healthcare setting, with emergency departments being the most popular. Moreover, half of the applications seek to improve time-and efficiency-related metrics, and one-third of all papers use hybrid models. Finally, the most popular DES software is Arena and Simul8. Overall, there is an increasing trend towards using DES in healthcare to address issues at an operational level, yet less than 10% of DES applications present actual implementations following the modeling stage. Thus, future research should focus on the implementation of the models to assess their impact on healthcare pro-cesses, patients, and, possibly, their clinical value. Other areas are DES studies that emphasize their methodological formulation, as well as the development of frameworks for hybrid models.
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - 2 Nov 2021|
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