Peter Jackson, Professor and Head of Pillar for Engineering Systems and Design, has been collaborating since early March with a team led by Nathaniel Hupert at the Weill College of Medicine in New York City. In an effort to provide hospital planners, public health officials, and government decision-makers with a tool to estimate the demand for critical resources (medical/surgical beds, intensive care unit beds, ventilators, and splitters), the team has created an easy-use-spreadsheet for converting epidemic estimates into resource demand numbers. Use of the tool was influential in the mid-March call for more ventilators for New York State. A number of hospital systems, such as Kaiser Permanente, have also downloaded the tool and report using it in their preparations for the coming surge in hospitalizations.

ESD students will recognize the use of the gamma distribution (Probability), systems dynamics (Simulation Modeling and Analysis) and inventory concepts (Manufacturing and Service Operations). The design choice of Microsoft Excel facilitated widespread distribution of early versions of the tool. Web versions of the tool are under active development (as of April 2, 2020). Also under development is a more advanced systems dynamics tool to model patient flows from the ED through Med/Surg and ICU units to discharge.

Here is a link to the spreadsheet tool:

You can watch the video presentation below: