Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management.

Publication Details

12th Annual Irish Academy of Management Conference,

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway, Ireland, September 2nd -4th , 2009.


The internal dynamics of emergency departments (ED) in Irish hospitals represent complex non-linear stochastic systems with an environment of uncertainty, variability and limited resources. Planning and managing such systems pose overwhelming demands. To improve operations, patient service, resource planning, and real-time reaction to unexpected events, sophisticated tools to efficiently achieve these goals must be applied.

Advanced solution techniques (e.g. simulation and optimisation) have been successfully applied in manufacturing operations to improve the delivery, cost-effectiveness and service quality. Yet, random arrival of patients, limited resources and multitasking are challenges in EDs that add more complexity to this critical area. This study delivers a contribution to both theory and practice. By the elaboration of patient risks types, simulation is investigated for its compliance with risk management approaches that hence delivered modifications to the simulation modelling approach. This investigation and the modifications allows the conclusion that simulation is suited for risk management and that simulation models are applicable as risk assessment models for healthcare once the modifications are considered by the modeller.