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Transportation Tool in Clinical Workflow Simulation Tool for Healthcare Institutions

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000146859D
Published in the IP.com Journal: Volume 7 Issue 3A (2007-03-25)
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2007-Mar-25
Document File: 3 page(s) / 51K

Publishing Venue

Siemens

Related People

Juergen Carstens: CONTACT

Abstract

To optimize the processes and workflows in complex organizations like hospitals, simulation methods are deployed. However, the aspect of transportation has been considered as a minor problem until now. In the simulations, transportation has been performed as an instant step with fixed time delay or even without any delay. The impact of infrastructural changes like new paths (alternative scenarios) or blocked paths (during maintenance) has not been taken into account. Therefore, it is proposed to develop a transportation module for the clinical workflow simulations. The transportation module has the job to move an object (which is signed as movable) from its actual place to a new place. Thereby, all objects are assigned to a specific "carrier". The attribute "carrier" specify the way how the object moves, e.g. on foot, on wheel chair, on bed. The transportation module consists of 4 parts: 1) transport manager: The transport manager finds out all possible paths between the given start and finish points. The transport manager is unique for a simulation.

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Transportation Tool in Clinical Workflow Simulation Tool for Healthcare Institutions

Idea: Marc Meiner, DE-Erlangen; Dr. Stefan Scholl, DE-Erlangen

To optimize the processes and workflows in complex organizations like hospitals, simulation methods are deployed. However, the aspect of transportation has been considered as a minor problem until now. In the simulations, transportation has been performed as an instant step with fixed time delay or even without any delay. The impact of infrastructural changes like new paths (alternative scenarios) or blocked paths (during maintenance) has not been taken into account.

Therefore, it is proposed to develop a transportation module for the clinical workflow simulations. The transportation module has the job to move an object (which is signed as movable) from its actual place to a new place. Thereby, all objects are assigned to a specific "carrier". The attribute "carrier" specify the way how the object moves, e.g. on foot, on wheel chair, on bed.

The transportation module consists of 4 parts:
1) transport manager:
The transport manager finds out all possible paths between the given start and finish points. The transport manager is unique for a simulation.

2) transportation points:
Transportation points are the only possible turnouts for a path (see Figure 1). Each path connects two transportation points. Transportation points have an ID and a name which are used to provide this transportation point with attributes.

3) motion control:
Transportation orders go to the motion control and are processed taking into account the attributes of the transported object. The actual status of a running transport is controlled via a specific item the so called "walker". The walker executes the path, which was calculated by the transport manager, step by step until the finish point is reached. At the finish point, a flag is set. The walker is part of the transportation module which is linked to the movable object and not to the simulation infrastructure (e.g. scheduler, service manager etc.). The motion control is the interface to the transportation process. It makes possible to add additional features to the transportation process after implementation.

4) elevator:
The elevator is defined as a specific path which can cover more than two transportation points. On this path, only a special carrier, cabin, moves the objects. A cabin has the attributes "velocity" and "capacity". Until a cabin picks up an object, the transportation points of an elevator act as waiting rooms.

The complete simulation is structured in rooms. The simulation modeling is going top-down. The top room is the frame of the simulation in which all the modules like transportation manager, scheduler, etc. are located. The lowest room level contains resources and people. The interfaces between the rooms are called doors. A...