Written by on Thursday June 17th 2010 in What We're Doing

Using SIMUL8 to Plan a Hospital Mass Evacuation

The Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC (CHP) had a unique and once-in-a-career problem; how to move 152 children the two and a half miles to its new state-of-the-art facility in a single day, without sacrificing patient safety and without breaking the budget. This was not just a simple matter of shuttling ambulances back and forth. While the problem is simple to describe, there were deceptively complex logistical challenges to address, including the coordination of over 250 staff members, 35 ambulances and scores of specialized, shared pieces of medical equipment. Even elevators had to be considered in the final analysis.

What CHP needed was a way to carefully evaluate various move strategies in advance, but without having to involve the actual patient population. They found the answer in SIMUL8. The final model allowed CHP to design and test plans for such important considerations as the planned move sequence and the optimal number of resources, including staff and ambulances, for move day.

The CHP Pediatric Move Simulation Project was started nearly two years before the move date. CHP staff used the completed model for extensive interactive move scenario analysis for over a year. The simulation model helped CHP move coordinators develop a clear plan for every eventuality, and to develop a strategy for optimally managing move logistics. Thanks to their foresight and careful planning, the move was completed smoothly in less than 7 hours.

Read the full story on NovaSim’s website here. Thanks to Kerrie for keeping us up to date with such a brilliant case study.