A BPMN extension to support discrete-event simulation for healthcare applications: An explicit representation of queues, attributes and data-driven decision points

Onggo, B.S.S., Proudlove, N.C., D’Ambrogio, S.A., Calabrese, A., Bisogno, S., Levialdi Ghiron, N.    

Journal of the Operational Research Society


Stakeholder engagement in simulation projects is important, especially in healthcare where there is a plurality of stakeholder opinions, objectives and power. One promising approach for increasing engagement is facilitated modelling. Currently, the complexity of producing a simulation model means that the “model coding” stage is performed without the involvement of stakeholders, interrupting the possibility of a fully facilitated project.

Early work demonstrated that with currently available software tools we can represent a simple healthcare process using Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) and generate a simulation model automatically. However, for more complex processes, BPMN currently has a number of limitations, namely the ability to represent queues and data-driven decision points. To address these limitations, we propose a conceptual design for an extension to BPMN (BPMN4SIM) using model-driven architecture. Application to an elderly emergency care pathway in a UK hospital shows that BPMN4SIM is able to represent a more complex business process.


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