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  • By Tony Waller
  • In News
  • Posted 16/05/2017

We’re pleased to be supporting a project at Cardiff University and NHS Wales looking at the Emergency Medical Unit (EMU) at the University Hospital of Wales (UHW) in Cardiff.

Funded by the Medical Research Council the team will create a simulation model in WITNESS of key procedures in the EMU looking at patient arrivals, resource prioritisation and usage and incorporating the full range of patient pathways. Outputs from the model will include times to receive assessments, times for different tests and treatments, total length of stay for patients and the associated resource utilisations.

Simulation is a great technique for looking at this type of process where there are complex interactions between patients, doctors, nurses, cubicles, test facilities and more. It also handles the variation in timings that typically occur and provides a good overall picture of how the whole EMU can perform.

There will be a novel approach during the experimentation phase of this project. It is planned to trial swarm based optimisation algorithms using the WITNESS Experimenter and interpreted to provide recommendations for EMU system improvement. These algorithms mimic insect behaviours in the gathering and sharing of information leading to the speedy finding of great solutions. The WITNESS Experimenter has a full API (programming interface) that allows for easy incorporation of such algorithms and the University has experience in applying such optimisation techniques. It will be fascinating to see if the approach aids optimality in this project.

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