Hospital operations is a complex, dynamic process involving many moving parts within a specific spatial configuration. Agent-based modeling is a simulation method that can be used to visualize how a hospital handles its patient flow and aid in optimizing its processes, or project the impact of future expansion.

A prototype Hospital Agent-based Model (HABM), which represented different care areas and the patients that moved through them, was created in 2016 to help the future planning for the University of Chicago Medicine’s expansion to provide Trauma services. This project laid the foundation for future development of a more detailed SimHospital to address the complicated nature of access and care at an urban, academic medical center.