The study presented derives from the request of the management of an Italian important pediatric hospital to reorganize the patient acceptance service. The authors to address the analysis had built a stochastic discrete event simulation model through which it was possible to study the behavior of the system under consideration in the different days of the week and at different times of the same day with the aim of minimizing the number of employees to the service, ensuring, in parallel, a short time of waiting in the queue for the users. The complexity of the problem lay in the strong variability of the service request in different time slots and in the significant diversification of activities carried out by the acceptance desk. The case study showed that by using simulation techniques and defining suitable Key Performance Indicators health institutions can save several hundreds of thousands of Euros a year, even by tackling non-core health services such the one studied by the authors. Considering that public health in countries like Italy is undergoing continuous spending cuts, the costs saved through interventions as the one shown in the paper become crucial to safeguard the resources to be allocated to patient care activities.
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