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Acad Emerg Med. 2011 Dec;18(12):1371-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2011.01135.x.

Review of modeling approaches for emergency department patient flow and crowding research.

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Division of Emergency Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, MO, USA.


Emergency department (ED) crowding is an international phenomenon that continues to challenge operational efficiency. Many statistical modeling approaches have been offered to describe, and at times predict, ED patient load and crowding. A number of formula-based equations, regression models, time-series analyses, queuing theory-based models, and discrete-event (or process) simulation (DES) models have been proposed. In this review, we compare and contrast these modeling methodologies, describe the fundamental assumptions each makes, and outline the potential applications and limitations for each with regard to usability in ED operations and in ED operations and crowding research.

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