Document Type: Review Article


Department of Health Information Technology, School of Management and Medical Informatics, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences


Objective: To systematically review the current literature of simulation in healthcare including the structured steps in the emergency healthcare sector by proposing a framework for simulation in the emergency department.Methods: For the purpose of collecting the data, PubMed and ACM databases were used between the years 2003 and 2013. The inclusion criteria were to select English-written articles available in full text with the closest objectives from among a total of 54 articles retrieved from the databases. Subsequently, 11 articles were selected for further analysis.Results: The studies focused on the reduction of waiting time and patient stay, optimization of resources allocation, creation of crisis and maximum demand scenarios, identification of overcrowding bottlenecks, investigation of the impact of other systems on the existing system, and improvement of the system operations and functions. Subsequently, 15 simulation steps were derived from the relevant studies after an expert’s evaluation.Conclusion: The 10-steps approach proposed on the basis of the selected studies provides simulation and planning specialists with a structured method for both analyzing problems and choosing best-case scenarios. Moreover, following this framework systematically enables the development of design processes as well as software implementation of simulation problems.