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The Capacity Planning of Intensive Care Units via Simulation: A Case Study in University Hospital

Z. F. Antmen, S. N. Oğulata


Prediction of the correct number of available beds in Intensive care units (ICUs) and Pediatric Intensive Care Units (PICUs) is a challenge due to the uncertainty of patient demand. ICUs and PICUs accept patients according to five different criteria. In this study, we predicted the statistical distribution of patients’ arrival times and lengths of stay by analyzing patients’ arrival times and lengths of stay with statistical techniques for each criterion. Based on these predicted statistical distribution data, analytical queuing models are not suitable to estimate the correct bed numbers for the ICU and PICU. Hence, a simulation model is developed and tested according to different ICU and PICU bed numbers to estimate the correct available number of beds.

The simulation model has been applied in the hospital in Adana city. According to the PICUs results, the queuing length does not seem quite large, since patients who require emergency action accepted. And it is observed that there is idle capacity of 37-39% for different bed numbers. According to ICUs results, it can be thought that increasing the bed number in the ICU unit from 14 to 18 will meet the ICU demand. It is observed that there seems to be a 20 % idle capacity for different bed numbers.
Problems related to bed availability for patients indicated to receive treatment in intensive care units or pediatric intensive care units may lead to irreparable results as serious as death. The requirements of highly skilled staff, high technology and equipment increase the installation and operation costs of both ICUs and PICUs to extreme values. Therefore, the available number of beds has to be determined carefully.


Capacity planning, Simulation modelling, Bed capacity,

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