Written by on Friday October 21st 2011 in Newsletter, What We're Doing

Scenario Generator- Bringing Users Together

Yesterday I attended our International Scenario Generator User Group at the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement at the University of Warwick in the UK.

For those of you that don’t know what Scenario Generator is, or what it’s used for, let me fill you in. SG was created to support strategic capacity planning using SIMUL8 technology combined with accurate health and social care data. Scenario Generator is currently used in Europe and North America and has been utilized in everything from stroke-care to maternity pathways.

What’s really great about Scenario Generator is that it comes pre-configured with population and prevalence data, and with a number of generic pathways of care.

This allows users to modify all the defaults, change existing pathways or even create new ones and develop any number of what-if scenarios.

The behavior of each scenario can then be explored by simulating healthcare activity from one to 10 years or even more.  Detailed results for each part of the model are provided with activity, flow, capacity, queues and cost.

Helping Share Experiences

Now that you have a better understanding of what Scenario Generator is, it’s time to explain a bit about the User Group that is held regularly. This User Group helps share experience and offers a sense of community, as well as offering an open forum to give and receive support.

Each User Group is unique and can take shape as a webinar, face to face meeting, or workshop. What never changes is the support on offer.

The User Group I attended was a meeting, which meant that beginner and advanced users were able to meet face to face, introduce themselves, share experiences and listen to some very interesting presentations.

What was so fascinating was what customers use Scenario Generator for. We all know how it can be used, but to see what it’s used for was very informative.

Users are able to present their models and explain how they use SG and what they gain from the software. After each presentation the audience is encouraged to ask questions or to share their thoughts. What’s great to see in these sessions are those ‘light bulb moments’- the moment where ideas pop up or something just suddenly clicks.

It’s so satisfying for users to engage with others and find the answer they’ve been looking for!

This particular User Group featured presentations on Outpatients in the Community (presented by Sarah Button, NHS Lincolnshire), Remodeling pathways-the bit that can make your head hurt. Practical examples, tips and hints to smooth the way (presented by David Gilding, NHS Nottinghamshire County).

Plus, Using and adapting Scenario Generator to model a maternity pathway, by Francesca Senese and Paolo Tubertini who came all the way from the Regional Health Agency Emilia Romagna Italy!

We were delighted for them to attend and they later expressed the benefits of sharing experiences, hints and tips with other Scenario Generator users. Additionally, Paulo Tubertini is using Scenario Generator as part of his PhD studies in Operational Research at the University of Bologna, so this was a fantastic opportunity for him.

So, if you’re using the software and would like to bounce ideas around, check out our Online User Community. If you’re not a user yet, but are interested and would like to learn more about Scenario Generator head to our website.