Creating a generic model of accident and emergency departments

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


The aim of this research was to create a Generic Visual Interactive Simulation Model for Accident and Emergency Departments. The model would be capable of reconfiguring resources as required and of analysing the resulting data.

The first step was to assess the feasibility of simulating a Scottish Accident and Emergency Department, as this had never been completed before, possibly due to the lack of data to populate the model and the stochastic nature of the Accident and Emergency system.

This was successfully completed at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and this model became the basis for the Generic Accident and Emergency Model. Via a study of Accident and Emergency Departments in Scotland with annual attendance greater than 35,000 patients, a mega model was developed. This incorporated every resource an Accident and Emergency Department could contain so far as could be ascertained.

By utilising the Object Linked Embedding controller properties of Visual Basic, a user interface was developed allowing users from any Accident and Emergency department to input resources to the model that are applicable to their own department without requiring any knowledge of the simulation package Witness. Hence making the simulation model a generic model for any Accident and Emergency Department with annual attendance greater than 35,000 patients.

The final stage involved creating a set of experiments that are automatically run with the resulting data being down-loaded to Excel where it is automatically analysed and the results summarised. This allows scientific judgement to be made of the benefit or otherwise of altering certain resource levels.

Prior to this study no such tool existed for the analysis of resource allocation within Accident and Emergency Departments.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Macfarlane, John, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2001


  • simulation
  • data
  • A and E
  • object linked embedding


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