Analytical Models for Decision Making

By Colin Sanderson; Reinhold Gruen | Go to book overview

1
The role of models

Overview

In this book you will learn about a range of approaches to model building and decision support. The aim of this chapter is to introduce the main underlying concepts. You start by reading about types of rationality and what makes management decision making in health care difficult. You are then introduced to some of the different types of models that can be used to support and inform decision making processes, and read about a particular example of model building in health services. After this you learn about some of the components of a decision support model, and what makes a good model.


Learning objectives
By the end of this chapter, you will be better able to:
describe some of the characteristics of decision making in health care
systems
explain what is meant by a 'model' in the context of decision making, and
identify the common features of such models
describe some of the kinds of problem that health services models can
help with
understand the basic model-building process, what makes a good
model, and some of the criticisms of using them to inform decision
making

Key terms

Models Ways of representing processes, relationships and systems in simplified, communicable
form. Iconic models are representations of how the system looks. Graphic models are
essentially diagrams, often consisting of boxes and arrows showing different types of
relationships. Symbolic models involve sets of formulae, representing the relationships
between variables in quantitative terms.

Operational research (OR) The application of scientific methods to management decision
making. The development and use of symbolic, and more recently, qualitative models are
arguably the distinctive features of the OR contribution.

Problem structuring Methods of clarifying problems by developing a shared understanding of
them among decision makers or stakeholders, and clarifying objectives and options. They draw
on ideas about procedural as well as substantive rationality.

-7-

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Analytical Models for Decision Making
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Understanding Public Health ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Overview 1
  • Section 1 - Models and Decision Making in Health Care 5
  • 1: The Role of Models 7
  • 2: Building a Decision Support Model 28
  • 3: Strategic Options Development and Analysis 43
  • Section 2 - Methods for Clarifying Complex Decisions 63
  • 4: Many Criteria 65
  • 5: Uncertainty 84
  • 6: Risk 103
  • Section 3 - Models for Service Planning and Resource Allocation 119
  • 7: Population Need for a Specific Service 121
  • 8: Balanced Service Provision 142
  • 9: Hospital Models 164
  • Section 4 - Modelling for Evaluating Changes in Systems 179
  • 10: Modelling Flows Through Systems 181
  • 11: Irregular Flows Systems with Queues 202
  • 12: Outline Review 223
  • Glossary 227
  • Index 231
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