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Using the Integration of Discrete Event and Agent-Based Simulation to Enhance Outpatient Service Quality in an Orthopedic Department
Many hospitals are currently paying more attention to patient satisfaction since it is an important service quality index. Many Asian countries' healthcare systems have a mixed-type registration, accepting both walk-in patients and scheduled patients. This complex registration system causes a long patient waiting time in outpatient clinics. Different approaches have been proposed to reduce the waiting time. This study uses the integration of discrete event simulation (DES) and agent-based simulation (ABS) to improve patient waiting time and is the first attempt to apply this approach to solve this key problem faced by orthopedic departments. From the data collected, patient behaviors are modeled and incorporated into a massive agent-based simulation. The proposed approach is an aid for analyzing and modifying orthopedic department processes, allows us to consider far more details, and provides more reliable results. After applying the proposed approach, the total waiting time of the orthopedic department fell from 1246.39 minutes to 847.21 minutes. Thus, using the correct simulation model significantly reduces patient waiting time in an orthopedic department.
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