In this paper, a new method for prediction of future performance and demand on emergency department (ED) in Spain is presented. Increased life expediency and population aging in Spain, along with their corresponding health conditions such as non-communicable diseases (NCDs), have been suggested to contribute to higher demands on ED. These lead to inferior performance of the department and cause longer ED length of stay (LoS). Prediction and quantification of behavior of ED is, however, challenging as ED is one of the most complex parts of hospitals. Using detailed computational approaches integrated with clinical data behavior of Spain's ED in future years was predicted. First, statistical models were developed to predict how the population and age distribution of patients with non-communicable diseases change in Spain in future years. Then, an agent-based modeling approach was used for simulation of the emergency department to predict impacts of the changes in population and age distribution of patients with NCDs on the performance of ED, reflected in ED LoS, between years 2019 and 2039. Results from different projection scenarios indicated that Spain would experience a continuous increase in total ED LoS from 5.7 million hours in 2019 to 6.2 million hours in 2039 if same human and physical resources, as well as same ED configuration, are used. The results from this study can provide health care provider with quantitative information on required staff and physical resources in the future and allow health care policymakers to improve modifiable factors contributing to the demand and performance of ED.
- Agent based modeling
- non-communicable disease
- population aging
- projection of emergency department