Modeling of Care Processes. The use of Simulation Models for the Design of Health Care Environments

Abstract: The necessity to improve the building design process is stressed in many studies. Communication in the early stages of the process is particularly important and it is suggested that this influences the quality of the whole process. In recent times, the construction sector has become more customer-oriented and is making use of the organisation and its main process as a basis for design decisions and as an important complement to construction issues. Participants in the building design process need tolls to indentify the requirements of the organisation for a building project. The overall aim of this thesis was to explore modelling and simulations (system dynamics) as at tool in facilitating collaboration between participants in the early stages in the design process for new health care environments. Two models were developed: a conceptual model for care planning and a simulation model of a stroke care process with a patient-centred focus. The thesis also investigated whether system dynamics with group modelling facilitates collaboration between participants in the design process. A case study approach was adopted to gain a detailed understanding of the activities during the group modelling project. Data was collected through literature, interviews and observations of the group modelling sessions. The results showed that group modelling with system dynamics facilitated the design work. The method allows the participants to visualise and understand the relationships between important factors in the stroke care process and brings system thinking into the stroke care process. The findings from the thesis have implications for managing the requirements of the buildings in the early stages of the design process.

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