Computer software set to revolutionise how wards are managed

A new computer program able to forecast the effects of introducing changes to working environments is helping transform the way wards and departments at UHS are managed.

Simul8 uses in-depth analysis of how workplaces run on a day-to-day basis to assess how they would be affected if significant changes were to be made - allowing management to make informed decisions of how to make changes without having to disrupt daily practice.

The innovative new software was most recently put to use by the blood transfusion department who recruited a University of Southampton placement student to help them analyse their staffing levels and assess how they could manage their resources more effectively.

Gregory Grob worked with the team for three months and used the experience as the basis for his dissertation.

His project involved detailed observation of all the different processes and routines in the laboratory as well as staffing patterns. This enabled him to determine the time used to complete each process and identify any trends.

With this knowledge, Gregory was able to create a simulation model which would demonstrate how workload would be affected if staffing levels were to change.

Dawn Carvey is the section manager for the blood transfusion department and mentored Gregory while he worked on the project. She said: “Gregory’s project helped identify a series of regular trends in our department which we were previously unaware of, so having that knowledge when considering staffing levels has been really useful.”

She added: “Over the next few months, we will be putting many of the recommendations from Simul8 to good practice and they will be progressively introduced to the department.”

It is now hoped the high-tech simulation tool will be utilised more frequently throughout the Trust. It has already been used for several modelling exercises in both Southampton General and Princess Anne hospitals.

Dawn continued: “Overall, the project has been really beneficial for our department as we are now able to effectively manage our resources and make educated decisions with confidence of what the outcomes will be.”

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Simul8 computer software