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Discrete event simulation is being increasingly recommended as an economic evaluation technique in healthcare. Economic evaluations take place when a new drug or device is being taken to market and is also used by healthcare payers and providers when considering whether to adopt any innovation. Clinicians and administrators need to understand not just whether the new intervention is cost effective when applied to theoretical cohorts of patients, but also what it would mean when implemented in their own organization or health economy.
- Will it require increased staff capacity, or will it free up time?
- Will it reduce patient waiting times for a service?
- How will it impact on the patients seen in our clinic or hospital?
Using discrete event simulation allows modelers to simulate both the transition between disease states and their likely costs and QALYs as well as to understand how the individual patient will now use services and resources. Decision-makers will need to be assured on all these points prior to approving a business case for implementation of a new way of working or the adoption of a drug or device.
While many health economists are using discrete event simulation, others prefer Monte Carlo and Markov models. SIMUL8 Professional combines state transition modeling with discrete event simulation to allow users to have the full flexibility to model key healthcare questions.
We have developed this guide to enable health economists and decision-makers new to SIMUL8 to learn how to use the software for this purpose. It takes you through the key features via a case study and explains how to use them to get you up and running quickly.