Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Tutorial Task 1.5 - Add Transport and Equipment Objects

Task 1.5 - Add Transport and Equipment Objects

Task Overview

In this task, you'll build out three different possible treatment tracks for the patient. These different treatment tracks will teach you how to use transports and equipment, which are a special class of objects in FlexSim Healthcare models.

In the first track, the patient will go to the operating room for sutures and will be transported back to the exam room using a wheelchair. In the second track, a nurse will get an EKG machine from a storage area to monitor the patient. In the third track, the patient will go to the x-ray room for radiology.

You'll build and test each track in this tutorial. In the final step of the tutorial, you'll add more patients to the model and see how it operates when there are several patients in the health care clinic at a time.

When you're finished, your simulation model will function similar to the following image:

Step 1 Add Additional Locations, Equipment, and Staff

In this step, you'll add additional location objects and staff objects to the 3D model to create an operating room and x-ray center. You'll also add some transport objects to the model (wheelchairs) and an equipment object (an EKG machine).

Lastly, you'll also add some additional staff members to this model and create groups for the new staff members. When you're finished, your simulation model should look similar to the following image:

To make these changes:

  1. Make sure the 3D model is open and active and that you are in the FlexSim Healthcare environment.
  2. In the Library under the Healthcare group, click the Location object to open a menu of location objects. Drag an OR object into the model. (Use the image at the beginning of this step as a guide on the placement of objects.)
  3. Click OR1 to select it. In Quick Properties, change the Z-rotation to -90.00.
  4. Repeat the previous steps to add an Xray object to the model. Change its Z-rotation to -90 as well.
  5. In the Library under the Healthcare group, click the Transport object to open a menu. Click (don't drag) the Wheelchair to enter Create Objects mode. Your mouse pointer will change to the Create Objects icon when you're in Create Objects mode. Click the area in the model where you want to add the first wheelchair.
  6. While still in Create Objects mode, click in the model to add a second Wheelchair.
  7. In the Library under the Healthcare group, click the Equipment object to open a menu of location objects. Drag a PortableEKG object into the model.
  8. In the Library under the Healthcare group, click the Staff object to open a menu and drag a Surgeon into the model.
  9. Repeat the previous step to add a Tech to the model.
  10. Double-click the A* Navigator to open its properties window. In the Visual tab, check the Show Members checkbox.
  11. On the Setup tab in the Members group, make sure that All Members is selected as the current member view.
  12. Click the Sampler button to enter sampling mode.
  13. In the 3D model, sample the Wheelchair1 object. Notice that it now appears as a member in the members list.
  14. Repeat this method to add all of the new 3D objects, including all the staff, location, equipment, and transports.
  15. Confirm that there is a light blue background under all the new 3D objects. If desired, turn off the Show Members checkbox in the A* Navigator after you're done.
  16. Click OK to save the changes and close the window.

Check that your simulation model looks similar to the image at the beginning of this step.

Step 2 Create Additional Object Groups

Since you added several new 3D objects to your simulation model in the previous step, you need to create object groups for those new objects in order to make your model scale well. In this step, you'll create an equipment group named EKGs for EKG machine, a transport group named Wheelchairs, a staff group named Surgeons, and a staff group named Techs.

To create additional object groups:

  1. Right-click Wheelchair1 to open a menu. Point to Transport Groups, then select Add to New Group to open a group properties window.
  2. In the Group Name box, rename this group Wheelchairs. Close the group window.
  3. Right-click Wheelchair2 to open a menu. Point to Transport Groups, then select Wheelchairs to add it to this group.
  4. In the 3D model, right-click PortableEKG1 to open a menu. Point to Equipment Groups, then select Add to New Group to open a group properties window.
  5. In the Group Name box, rename this group EKGs. Close the group window.
  6. Right-click Surgeon1 to open a menu. Point to Staff Groups, then select Add to New Group to open a group properties window.
  7. In the Group Name box, rename this group Surgeons. Close the group window.
  8. Right-click Tech1 to open a menu. Point to Staff Groups, then select Add to New Group to open a group properties window.
  9. In the Group Name box, rename this group Techs. Close the group window.

Consider saving your model at this point.

Step 3 Use a Transport in a Treatment Phase

In this step, you'll add your first treatment track to the PatientTrack process flow. You'll add a treatment track in which the patient will go to the operating room for sutures. This treatment track will show you how to work with transport objects because the patient will need to be transported back from the operating room on a wheelchair.

When you're finished, the process flow will look similar to the following image:

The following is an overview of how the activities and shared assets will function:

Activity Explanation
OR This shared asset will link to the OR1 object in the 3D model.
Wheelchair This shared asset will link to the Wheelchairs transport group in the 3D model.
Surgeon This shared asset will link to the Surgeons staff group in the 3D model.
Acquire OR This activity will attempt to acquire the OR1 location. If another patient is using the OR1 location, the token will wait until the OR1 location is available.
Acquire Surgeon This activity will acquire a member of the Surgeons group.
Escort Patient to OR This activity will tell the acquired surgeon to escort the patient to the OR1 location.
Suture Patient This activity will represent the amount of time it takes to test the patient. You'll set that time to 30 seconds for now.
Acquire Wheelchair This activity will attempt to acquire a wheelchair for the patient. If all the wheelchairs are already being used by other patients, the current patient will wait. Once a wheelchair is free, the current patient's token will move to the next activity.
Transport Patient to Exam Room This activity will tell the surgeon to get the wheelchair and bring it to the patient. After the patient gets on the wheelchair, the surgeon will transport the patient back to the exam table the patient had used originally.
Return Wheelchair Once the patient has been transported, the surgeon will move the wheelchair back to its original storage area. You'll use a picklist option that sets the destination back to the wheelchair's original reset position in the model, which is the storage area.
Release Surgeon This activity will release the surgeon that was acquired earlier in the process flow. The surgeon will then be free to work on other tasks or to be acquired by other patients.
Release Wheelchair This activity will release the wheelchair so that it can be acquired by other patients in the simulation model.
Release OR This activity will release the OR1 location so that it can be acquired by other patients.

To build this logic:

  1. In the PatientTrack process flow, delete the Treatment shape.
  2. In the empty space where the Treatment shape used to be, add a Transport then Process activity set (under HC Activity Sets).
  3. Rename this shape as Treatment 1: Sutures.
  4. In Quick Properties for this shape, change the Color to red.
  5. Press and hold the Ctrl key. Click the Acquire Transport activity and move it so that it is after the Process activity.
  6. Repeat the previous step to move the Transport Patient activity after the Acquire Transport activity.
  7. From the Library under the HC Sub Flows group, drag an Escort Patient activity into the process flow and insert it after the Acquire Staff activity.
  8. From the Library under the HC Sub Flows group, drag a Move Equipment activity into the process flow and insert it after the Transport Patient activity.
  9. Rename the activities and shared assets as follows:
  10. Activity or Shared Asset New Name
    Location OR
    Transport Wheelchair
    Staff Surgeon
    Acquire Location Acquire OR
    Acquire Staff Acquire Surgeon
    Escort Patient Escort Patient to OR
    Process Suture Patient
    Acquire Transport Acquire Wheelchair
    Transport Patient Transport Patient to Exam Room
    Move Equipment Return Wheelchair
    Release Staff Release Surgeon
    Release Transport Release Wheelchair
    Release Transport Release OR
  11. Create the following connectors:
    • From Decide Treatment to Acquire OR
    • From Release OR to Acquire Exam MD
  12. Click the OR shared asset to select it. In Quick Properties next to the Location box, click the Sampler button to enter sampling mode.
  13. Click the OR1 location in the 3D model to sample it.
  14. Click the Wheelchair shared asset to select it. In Quick Properties, click the arrow next to the Transport box to open a menu. Point to Transport Groups and select Wheelchairs.
  15. Click the Surgeon shared asset to select it. In Quick Properties, click the arrow next to the Staff box to open a menu. Point to Staff Groups, then select Surgeons.
  16. Click the Escort Patient to OR activity to select it. Next to the Destination box, click the Sampler button to enter sampling mode.
  17. Click the OR shared asset to sample it.
  18. Next to the Staff box, click the Sampler button to enter sampling mode.
  19. Click the Surgeon shared asset to sample it.
  20. Click the Suture Patient activity to select it. In Quick Properties in the Process Time box, delete the current text and type 30.00.
  21. Click the Transport Patient to Exam Room activity to select it. In Quick Properties next to the Destination box, click the Sampler button to enter sampling mode.
  22. Click the Exam Room shared asset in the Escort to Exam Room shape to sample it.
  23. Click the Return Wheelchair activity to select it. In Quick Properties, next to the Equipment box, click the Sampler button to enter sampling mode.
  24. Click the Wheelchair shared asset to sample it.
  25. Click the arrow next to the Destination box to open a menu. Select Equipment's Reset Position.
  26. Next to the Staff box, click the Sampler button to enter sampling mode.
  27. Click the Surgeon shared asset to sample it.

Reset and run the simulation model:

After the staff consultation phase, a surgeon then comes and escorts the patient to the operating room and sutures the patient. The surgeon then gets a wheelchair and returns the patient back to the exam room.

Step 4 Use Equipment in a Treatment Phase

In this step, you'll learn how to work with equipment in FlexSim Healthcare models. You'll add a second phase of treatment in which an RN will get an EKG machine from its storage area and use it to test the patient. When the patient is done being tested, the RN will return the EKG machine to its storage closet.

When you're finished, the process flow will look similar to the following image:

The following is an overview of how the new activities will function:

Activity or Shared Asset Explanation
EKG This shared asset will link to the EKGs equipment group in the 3D model.
EKG RN This shared asset will link to the RNs staff group in the 3D model.
Acquire EKG This activity will attempt to acquire an EKG for the patient. If all the EKGs are already being used by other patients, the current patient will wait. Once an EKG is free, the current patient's token will move to the next activity.
Acquire EKG RN This activity will acquire a member of the RNs group. If all members of the RNs group are busy working on other tasks, the token will wait at this activity until an RN is free.
Move EKG This activity will tell the RN to get the EKG and bring it to the patient's current location.
Test Patient This activity will represent the amount of time it takes the RN to test the patient. You'll set that time to 30 seconds for now.
Return EKG Once the patient has been tested, the RN will move the EKG back to its original storage area. You'll use a picklist option that sets the destination back to the EKG's original reset position in the model, which is the storage area.
Release EKG RN This activity will release the EKG RN that was acquired earlier in the process flow. Afterwards, the RN will then be free to work on other tasks or to be acquired by other patients.
Release EKG This activity will release the EKG so that it can be acquired by other patients in the simulation model.

To build this logic:

  1. In the PatientTrack process flow, add a Move Equipment then Process activity set (under HC Activity Sets) placing it to the right of the Treatment 1: Sutures shape.
  2. Rename this shape as Treatment 2: EKG.
  3. In Quick Properties for this shape, change the Color to red.
  4. From the Library under the HC Sub Flows group, drag a Move Equipment activity into the process flow and insert it after the Process activity.
  5. Rename the activities and shared assets as follows:
  6. Activity or Shared Asset New Name
    Equipment EKG
    Staff EKG RN
    Acquire Equipment Acquire EKG
    Acquire Staff Acquire EKG RN
    Move Equipment Move EKG
    Process Test Patient
    Move Equipment Return EKG
    Release Staff Release EKG RN
    Release Equipment Release EKG
  7. Create a connector from the Decide Treatment activity to the Acquire EKG activity. Click the connector to select it. In Quick Properties, open the Line Style menu and select Split. Change the name of the connector to 2 for clarity.
  8. Repeat the previous step to create another split connector from the Release EKG to the Acquire Exam MD activity.
  9. Click the EKG shared asset to select it. In Quick Properties, click the arrow next to the Equipment box to open a menu. Point to Equipment Groups, then select EKGs.
  10. Click the EKG RN shared asset to select it. In Quick Properties, click the arrow next to the Staff box to open a menu. Point to Staff Groups, then select RNs.
  11. Click the Test Patient activity to select it. In Quick Properties inside the Process Time box, delete the current text and type 30.00.
  12. Click the Return EKG activity to select it. In Quick Properties next to the Equipment box, click the Sampler button to enter sampling mode.
  13. Click the EKG shared asset to sample it.
  14. In Quick Properties, click the arrow next to the Destination box to open a menu. Select Equipment's Reset Position.
  15. Next to the Staff box, click the Sampler button to enter sampling mode.
  16. Click the EKG RN shared asset to sample it.
  17. Since you only want to test this new track right now, click the Decide Treatment activity to select it. In Quick Properties in the Send Token To box, delete the current number and type 2.

Reset and run the simulation model:

After the staff consultation phase, an RN brings the EKG machine to the patient. After a brief delay, the RN then returns the EKG to its storage room.

Step 5 Add an Additional Treatment Phase

In this phase, the patient will go to the radiology area for an x-ray. When you're finished, the process flow will look similar to the following image:

The following is an overview of how the new activities will function:

Activity or Shared Asset Explanation
X-Ray This shared asset will link to the Xray1 object in the 3D model.
Tech This shared asset will link to the Techs staff group in the 3D model.
Acquire X-Ray This activity will attempt to acquire the Xray1 location. If another patient is using the Xray1 location, the token will wait until the Xray1 location is available.
Acquire Tech This activity will acquire a member of the Techs group.
Escort Patient to X-Ray This activity will tell the acquired tech to escort the patient to the Xray1 location.
X-Ray Patient This activity will represent the amount of time it takes to x-ray the patient. You'll set that time to 30 seconds for now.
Escort Back to Exam Room This activity will tell the tech to escort the patient back to the exam table the patient had used originally.
Release Tech This activity will release the tech that was acquired earlier in the process flow. Afterwards, the tech will then be free to work on other tasks or to be acquired by other patients.
Release X-Ray This activity will release the Xray1 location so that it can be acquired by other patients.

To build this logic:

  1. From the Library under HC Activity Sets, add an Escort then Process activity set to the process flow.
  2. Rename the shape Treatment 3: X-Ray.
  3. In Quick Properties for this shape, change the Color to red.
  4. From the Library under the HC Sub Flows group, add an Escort Patient activity after the Process activity.
  5. Rename the activities and shared assets as follows:
  6. Activity or Shared Asset New Name
    Location X-Ray
    Staff Tech
    Acquire Location Acquire X-Ray
    Acquire Staff Acquire Tech
    Escort Patient Escort Patient to X-Ray
    Process X-Ray Patient
    Escort Patient Escort Patient to Exam Room
    Release Staff Release Tech
    Release Location Release X-Ray
  7. Create a connector from Decide Treatment to Acquire X-Ray. Click the connector to select it. In Quick Properties, open the Line Style menu and select Split. Change the name of the connector to 3 for clarity.
  8. Repeat the previous step to create another split connector from Release X-Ray to Acquire Exam MD.
  9. Click the X-Ray shared asset to select it. In Quick Properties next to the Location box, click the Sampler button to enter sampling mode.
  10. In the 3D model, click the Xray1 location to sample it.
  11. Click the Tech shared asset to select it. Click the arrow next to the Staff box to open a menu. Point to Staff Groups, then select Techs.
  12. Click the X-Ray Patient activity to select it. In Quick Properties in the Process Time box, delete the current text and type 30.00.
  13. Click the Escort Patient to Exam Room activity to select it. Next to the Destination box, click the Sampler button to enter sampling mode.
  14. Click the Exam Room shared asset in the Escort to Exam Room shape to sample it.
  15. Next to the Staff box, click the Sampler button to enter sampling mode.
  16. Click the Tech shared asset to sample it.
  17. Since you only want to test this new track right now, click the Decide: Which Treatment activity to select it. In Quick Properties in the Send Token To box, delete the current number and type 3.

Reset and run the simulation model:

After the staff consultation phase, a tech then comes and escorts the patient to the x-ray room and performs the x-ray. The tech then returns the patient back to the exam room.

Step 6 Change the Patient Arrival Schedule

Now that you've built out a fairly complex simulation model and tested it, it's time to increase the number of patients that move through the health care clinic model. In this step, you'll change the patient arrival schedule on the Date Time Source activity in the PatientArrival process flow. Because patients in a walk-in clinic often arrive at varying rates depending on the time of day, the Date Time Source activity will allow you to define the rates that they commonly arrive.

To change the patient arrival pattern:

  1. Open the PatientArrivals process flow.
  2. With the Patient Arrival Schedule activity selected, in Quick Properties, click the Edit Arrivals button to open this activity's properties window.
  3. Click the Generate Table button to expand the properties.
  4. Click the Type menu and select Weekly.
  5. Confirm that the Division Length is set to 1 Hour and then click the Generate button.
  6. Click the ... button next to the Time Mode menu to open the Model Settings.
  7. Change the Model Start Time to 12:00:00 AM. Close the window.
  8. Each cell will indicate the number of patients who will arrive during each hour of each day. Click each cell and type a number to change it. If desired, you can create your own custom arrival schedule. Otherwise, fill in the cells as follows:
  9. Confirm that the Arrival Spacing menu is set to Randomly spaced.
  10. Close the properties window.
  11. On the simulation control bar, click the arrow next to the Run Time controls to open a menu. Select Date and Time.
  12. Open the PatientTrack process flow.
  13. In the MD Consultation shape, click the Decide: Which Treatment activity to select it. In Quick Properties, click the arrow next to the Send Token To box to open a menu. Point to Statistical Distribution, then select D Uniform.
  14. Delete the number in Maximum and change it to 3.

Reset and run the model. Since the first patient likely won't arrive at time 0, you might want to click the Step button to skip ahead to the first arrival. You might also want to increase the speed of the simulation model.

As you watch, several patients will now arrive randomly during the hour and patients will randomly be assigned to one of three treatment tracks.

Conclusion

This concludes the FlexSim Healthcare Tutorial. By now you should have a good sense of all the different tools that are available to you when building a FlexSim Healthcare model. Be aware that in a normal simulation project, you'd go on to make sure your data inputs were correct by studying the times that it takes to complete registration, patient vitals, examinations, and other treatment times.