Bronkhorst, E.M.with T. Wiersma and G.J. Truin, "Using Complex System Dynamics Models; an Example Concerning the Dutch Dental Health Care System", 1990

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Recently a System Dynamic simulation model of supply and demand of the dental health care system in The Netherlands has been developed. This model includes major demographical, pathological, psychological, sociological and economical processes comprising the demand side. The supply side covers the availability of dentists, dental hygienists and factors which determine their productivity.The main purpose of the model is to create an instrument for analyzing the Dutch dental health care system. A relatively simple model with e.g. 20 state variables just describing the main concepts of this system was not considered to be sufficient. Therefore, starting from a simple model, during the past decade a far more complex model has been developed. It contains for instance 440 state variables. This model has already proven to be very satisfactory with regard to its descriptive qualities. However, the necessity for working with complex models also has negative side-effects. Apart from the great effects needed constructing, validating and analyzing the model, it is well known that the more complex the model, the more difficult to communicate about its results and properties, with people for whom the model might be useful. This is even more so if it concerns people from outside the academic world (in this case for instance the dental profession or policy makers).In this paper attention will be focused firstly on a short introduction concerning the model and its structure. Secondly, our experiences with the model will be used as an example of our ideas about how to construct sophisticated models with a high descriptive quality, while at the same time making them at least acceptable for those who might use its results, but were not directly involve in the construction of it.

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  • 1990
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