Abstract for:System Dynamics Applications in Emergency Department for Waiting Time Improvement

Emergency departments are a key link in the French health care system; many cries of alarm were pushed in recent years about their future. The most visible difficulty, as it is both felt by the French and relayed by the media, is the overcrowding of emergency departments and long wait times because of continued growth in the demand for urgent care, especially during winter epidemic peaks. It is the concern of the public and health region planners in Ile-de-France that motivated our study, to explore the factors that contribute to long waiting times. The goal was to introduce systems thinking and systems dynamics modeling in the emergency department of the Greater Hospital of East Francilien (GHEF) in France as tools to evaluate alternative decisions the health policy, and study ways to improve patient flow and system capacity. This article provides a detailed overview of a model of System Dynamics that focuses on the emergency department; it discusses the strengths and weaknesses we found in its application and suggests some opportunities for its development and use in the future.