New Perspectives for Workflow Analysis in the Health Italian Sector through Discrete Event Simulation: The Case of a Department of Laboratory Medicine


The management systems currently used in the Italian healthcare sector provide fragmented and incomplete information on this system and are generally unlikely to give accurate information on the performances of the healthcare processes. The present paper introduces a combined discrete event simulation (DES)/business process management (BPM) approach as innovative means to study the workflow of the activities within the Department of Laboratory Medicine of the “San Paolo” Hospital in Naples (Italy). After a first “As-Is” analysis to identify the current workflows of the system and to gather information regarding its behaviour, a following DES-based “What-If” analysis is implemented to figure out alternative work hypotheses in order to highlight possible modifications to the system’s response under varying operating conditions and improve its overall performances. The structure of the simulation program is explained and the results of the scenario analysis are discussed. The paper starts with a brief exploration of the use of DES in healthcare and ends with general observations on the subject.

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Torri, A. , Tamburis, O. , Abbate, T. and Pepino, A. (2015) New Perspectives for Workflow Analysis in the Health Italian Sector through Discrete Event Simulation: The Case of a Department of Laboratory Medicine. Intelligent Information Management, 7, 93-106. doi: 10.4236/iim.2015.73009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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