A Simulation Model to Compare Strategies for the Reduction of Health-Care–Associated Infections

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1287/inte.1090.0435

Cook County Hospital, like many hospitals in the United States and worldwide, is pursuing a strategy to combat health-care–associated infections (HAIs). In the United States, approximately two million people are infected each year and over 100,000 die. In this paper, an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Georgia Tech and Cook County Hospital, with backgrounds in engineering, economics, and medicine, analyze the flow of pathogens. We combine infection rates and cost data to build a discrete-event simulation model to capture the complex relationships between hand hygiene, isolation, demand, and costs. We find that both hand hygiene and isolation policies have a significant impact on rates of infection, and that a complex interplay between factors exists. This suggests that a systems-level approach to infection-control procedures will be required to contain health-care–associated infections.

INFORMS site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; Others help us improve the user experience. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Please read our Privacy Statement to learn more.