computer simulation modeling, bioterrorism, preparedness, hospital
The terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the subsequent anthrax mail attack have forced health care administrators and policy makers to place a new emphasis on disaster planning at hospital facilities--specifically bioterrorism planning. Yet how does one truly "prepare" for the unpredictable? In spite of accreditation requirements, which demand hospitals put in to place preparations to deal with bioterrorism events, a recent study from the General Accounting Office (GAO) concluded that most hospitals are still not capable of dealing with such threats (Gonzalez, 2004). This dissertation uses computer simulation modeling to test the effectiveness of bioterrorism planning at a local hospital facility in Central Florida, Winter Park Memorial Hospital. It is limited to the response plan developed by the hospital's Emergency Department. It evaluates the plan's effectiveness in dealing with an inhalational anthrax attack. Using Arena computer simulation software, and grounded within the theoretical framework of Complexity Science, we were able to test the effectiveness of the response plan in relation to Emergency Department bed capacity. Our results indicated that the response plan's flexibility was able to accommodate an increased patient load due to an attack, including an influx of the "worried well." Topics of future work and study are proposed.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Health and Public Affairs
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Bebber, Robert, "Using Computer Simulation Modeling To Evaluate The Bioterrorismresponse Plan At A Local Hospital Facility" (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3077.