Example Project

We worked with a community that needed a plan to vaccinate 79,000 clients against smallpox in 10 days.

They wanted to operate the clinic only 16 hours per day.

Their best clinic site had access roads that could easily be snarled by traffic, so they wanted to use remote staging areas. A family would walk, drive, or take public transportation to the nearest staging area. Families would undergo triage at the staging area. Families having a sick family member or a family member who had been exposed to smallpox would board buses for special facilities. Families that had been cleared for vaccination would board buses for a central vaccination clinic.

We created dynamic simulation models to test various process layouts, process management strategies, and staffing plans in order to arrive the most appropriate balance between service level and cost for the community. Analysis using the models enabled us to determine:

  • The best staffing plan for the clinic and the staging areas.
  • The most effective way to manage facilities for orientation in English, Spanish, and other languages
  • The most effective shuttle bus fleet management strategy and the costs for carrying it out
  • Key performance metrics such as waiting times, queue lengths, clinic populations, and parking lot utilization

The basic ingredients of our approach to design and analysis are:

·         Simulation models, each of which includes

·         a schematic—a diagram that describes the process

·         a scenario—quantitative information about the process and assumptions about operating conditions

·         the results—that tell us how well the process performs in a scenario

·         The methodology that we follow