A simulation illustrates a fundamental concept in Operations Management and can be used to reinforce key learning objectives in case studies and readings. This simulation illustrates how variability in arrival times, variability in service times, and resource utilization impact patient waiting times for a four-bed hospital unit. A second scenario compares the average performance of four specialized four-bed units to the performance of a pooled sixteen-bed unit. The simulation illustrates the trade-offs between cost, patient experience, and clinical quality that arise from queuing systems. This simulation can be used for courses in Operations Management for both MBA and undergraduate students. It is delivered entirely online and requires one class meeting or less for students to run the simulation and discuss the results.
Company: Harvard Business Publishing
Approximate price: $10.00
Playtime: 30 minutes
Learning objectives: The simulation illustrates the following learning objectives: the negative impact of variability in arrival and service times on waiting times for a hospital bed; the effects of key levers for modifying queuing system behavior; all else being equal-pooled systems are able to provide the same average waiting time as specialized systems while using fewer resources; the tradeoffs between pooling resources to create a large, generic unit versus separating resources to create smaller, specialized units.
Link to simulation home page: https://hbsp.harvard.edu/product/4386-HTM-ENG