Practical Experience in Modelling Health Care

Les Vertesi

Associate Director of Research

Fraser Health Authority

Shared Appointment with Simon Fraser University

Surrey, BC


Health care is a complex world that poses serious problems for modeling. Simple models are not realistic, but models that try to mimic that complexity are difficult and time-consuming to build and perhaps even worse, are difficult for managers to use. As both a hospital manager and a modeler at the same time, the speaker has had to use the very models he has built and has thereby learned a practical approach to what is a universal modeling problem. Using examples of previous models designed to explore hospital and emergency department congestion, he will explain how a careful choice of the question can reduce model complexity, increase validity, and speed up the rate at which the model can respond to management questions.

Biographical Notes

Les Vertesi is a career emergency physician with over 30 years experience in major trauma referral hospitals, and with a proven track record for leadership and innovation. In addition to his medical degree from the University of Toronto (1970) he received a specialty certificate in Emergency Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1985. In 1989 he added to his university training with a Master's Degree in Health Sciences and Clinical Epidemiology from the University of British Columbia. There, he became exposed to computer modeling and simulation. He has undertaken many projects related to hospital utilization and especially Emergency Department patient flow. He became the first recipient of the Justice Institute of BC's Joseph Cohen Award for Outstanding Contributions to Public Safety (1999). He was Head of the Department of Emergency Medicine, and later Medical Administrator at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster BC. He holds a shared appointment with the Fraser Health Authority as Associate Director. During 2002 he served on an advisory panel to Senator Kirby during the preparation of the Senate Report on Canadian health care. Still, he maintains his clinical practice and works part-time in the Emergency Department.

Nov. 1, 2005

Park Town Hotel, Birch Room

Cocktails 5:30, Dinner 6:00, Presentation 7:00

Tickets $17

For more information contact:

Kent Kostuk 244-3295