Modeling patient service centers with simulation and system dynamics

Thomas R. Rohleder, Diane P. Bischak, Leland B. Baskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Scopus citations


We report on the use of simulation modeling for redesigning phlebotomy and specimen collection centers (or patient service centers) at a medical diagnostic laboratory. Research was performed in an effort to improve patient service, in particular to reduce average waiting times as well as their variability. Discrete-event simulation modeling provided valuable input into new facility design decisions and showed the efficacy of pooling sources of variation, particularly patient demand and service times. Initial performance of the redesigned facilities was positive; however, dynamic feedback within the system of service centers eventually resulted in unanticipated performance problems. We show how a system dynamics model might have helped predict these implementation problems and suggest some ways to improve results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Care Management Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007


  • Case study
  • Facility design
  • Healthcare
  • Simulation
  • System dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Professions(all)

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