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Import and Overall Flow

When Will You Need This?

When you need a complete model of the major entry points and boarding areas of a hospital. It would allow for policy experimentation or addition of types of patients show the effect to major boarding areas. It shows how to import the flow from historical patient information. It shows how to pull information from attributes to feed the flow and timing of the model. It shows how to check if the next destination has capacity to receive the patient and if not hold the patient in the current location. It shows how to do implement discharge windows for boarding locations (See Ward activity).

Import and Overall Flow


Model Object

The following model object will be used to create an import and overall flow to import data into ProcessModel: Arrivals \ Import and Overall Flow.

Ease of Use: Moderate

Ease of Modification: Moderate

How to Use the Model Object

1. Open Your Model

Open your model or create a new blank model.

2. Insert the Model Object into Your Model

Locate the appropriate location in your model where you would like to place the model object, move the view to the location and then insert the model object.

3. Add or Change Locations

1. Add and/or change locations. Locations must start with an alpha character. Keep the names short. You should have short names in your database.

If you do not wish to add or remove any default locations, skip to step 4.0.

2. Create routes from the Director activity to any new activity. Duplicate the methods used in the existing red routes.

creating new activities

3. Create a route from each activity to the black box activity. Duplicate the methods used in the existing blue routes.

creating route to the black box

4. Review and update the action logic at the Director activity. The Director is setup to handle upto 15 locations, if your scenario has more than 15 locations, simply copy / paste the logic to add more locations.

Actionlogic update on director

Make sure that the appropriate attributes, a_Loc# and a_Time# are defined through the Define Attributes, Variables & Scenarios window.

define avs for Import and Overall Flow

5. Review the instructions in the action logic at activity ED and enhance the action logic on all activities to account for the new activities added.

updating action logic on activities

6. To remove a location activity, follow the instructions from step 3.1 onwards and delete routes, reduce / update action logic appropriately.

4. Open the Excel File

Right click on the Scheduled ArrivalsInput Sheet Excel icon and click on the third option from the bottom to open the Scheduled ArrivalsInput vx-x Excel file, where x-x represents the version number of the Excel file.

opening Scheduled ArrivalsInput in Import and Overall Flow

Before using this Excel file for the first time, or after changing your model name, make sure that a manual export of data is done via ProcessModel. From your model, click Tools \ Export Data, click ‘Yes’ to all prompts until the data export file opens, close the data file and then use this Excel file.

Click Enable Content if prompted

Enable Macro

5. Setup the Excel File

Once the Scheduled ArrivalsInput vx-x Excel file opens click the 1. Setup button. This will instruct the Excel file to ping ProcessModel and fetch the name of all entities that have a Scheduled route from the active model and create new tabs for each entity.

tab created by entity name

If you have multiple entities with a Scheduled route and only want to update one or more of the entities schedule you can delete the tabs of other entities. Make sure that you keep the tab with the buttons, change the name of the tab to reflect the name of another entity if the current entity name on the tab with buttons is not what you want to update, make sure that you keep the naming format: Ent (Entity-Name).

6. Enter Raw Data

Copy your raw data into the Excel file, from cell A7 onwards. Make sure that you add all the attributes (a_Loc# and a_Time#) for all the locations in your model and provide relevant values for them. Sample data is included.

Have UK dates and time? Use the UK Dates Converter

The locations names must match and times corresponding to each location should be in hours

Import and Overall Flow raw data

7. Import Data from the Spreadsheet to ProcessModel

Before clicking the 2. Update button you may select one of the following 3 options in order instruct ProcessModel what it needs to do.

1. Import Data: Selecting this option will import the data into ProcessModel after crunching the numbers and updating the exported Data file from ProcessModel. The Excel file will automatically export data from your model.

2. Simulate Model: Selecting this option will simulate the model after completing all the actions mentioned in Import Data. Simulation animation will be off.

3. Animation On: Selecting this option will simulate the model with animation on after completing all the actions mentioned in Import Data.

8. Completion

The Import and Overall Flow model is now integrated into your model, you should now be able to save and then simulate the model.

Attributes, Variables, Scenario Parameters and Scenarios usage


1. a_Loc_Count: Counts the cycles of the patient through the Director activity. This allows the logic to know which location and time attribute to use.

2. a_Next_Loc: Is used to steer the entity from the Director activity to hospital locations.

3. a_Loc_After_Next: Is used at the locations to look ahead to determine if there is capacity location after the current.

4. a_Next_Time: Is used to hold the patient at the next location for the time pulled from the corresponding time attribute.

5. a_Loc1 to 15: Used to store the name of the location. The numbers specify the order of routing. When the logic encounters a zero in the location attributes the patient is discharged.

6. a_Time1 to 15: Used to store the time a patient stays at a location. Time attributes correspond to location attributes.


1.  v_TimeLeftDay: Used to count that time left in a day.

Scenario Parameters:

1. s_DischargeWindow: The scenario parameter contains three distributions by default, that specify the percent of people that will be discharged between specified times. Look up uniform distribution.

Verifying Import

After clicking the 2. Update button wait for a few seconds until you receive a relevant prompt via Excel or are moved to ProcessModel for model simulation. Once you are back in ProcessModel, you can look at the following location to make sure that the import was successful:

1. Click on the arrival route and from the Properties Dialog click Define Schedule, open the Action Logic and review the import values.

Review data for Import and Overall FlowReview the first line of data that was imported

Review imported data in Import and Overall FlowThe data imported into ProcessModel is reflecting the same values.

Workbook in Action for Other Scenarios:

More Relevant Model Objects

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