Dr Alison Harper
Lecturer Business Analytics
Building:One, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4ST, UK
I completed my PhD at University of Exeter Business School and since 2020 have worked as a research fellow with PenCHORD (Peninsula Collaboration for Healthcare Operational Research & Data Science) in the University of Exeter Medical School NIHR Applied Research Collaborative, where I remain an honorary researcher. I completed an ESRC funded fellowship in 2022, and joined the University of Exeter Business School in September 2023.
Key recent research projects include:
Improving Patient flow between Acute, Community and Social care (IPACS)
This 3-year project was funded by HDRUK and was in collaboration with NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucester (BNSSG) Integrated Care Board, and University of Bath School of Management.
Using open-source simulation tools, the IPACS project aimed to investigate what may constitute an optimal balance of capacity along complex hospital discharge pathways and assess how responsive total spend in the local health and social care economy might be in relation to the capacity of community and home-based care.
It is in routine use in BNSSG, and has been handed over to multiple other NHS Trusts for implementation.
- More information: IPACS - Improving Patient flow between Acute, Community and Social care - PenARC
- Project materials: BNSSG GitHub and Zenodo
Hospital Efficiency Project (HEP)
This HDRUK-funded project in collaboration with University of Bristol and North Bristol NHS Trust aimed to support North Bristol to manage orthopaedic surgery elective waiting lists. The model was co-designed to support planning of a new ring-fenced surgical facility in Bristol, and has been developed to be generalizable to similar applications in other areas, and with minor modifications, to other elective specialties.
An open-source discrete event simulation model was developed and deployed as a web app for managers and clinicians to support planning the balance of capacity between beds and operating theatres, and the effects of productivity and efficiency measures on resource requirements. The model has been handed over to several NHS Trusts for local application.
- Real time simulation
- Hybrid modelling
- Discrete event simulation
- Health service delivery
My research interests are in applied health and social care modelling, simulation and data analytics to improve understanding and provide decision-support for health and care service delivery.
Publications by category
Publications by year
- Supporting researcher for a REF 2021 impact study (UOA17 Business and Management Studies led by Professor Nav Mustafee). It was awarded the Operational Research (OR) Society’s Lyn Thomas Impact Medal for 2022.
- Honorary Senior Research Associate at University of Bristol
- September 2022 Invited Lecture to MITRE Corporation Modelling and Analytics Innovation Centre, Virginia USA
This module explores the role of information and analytics in supporting the development of strategies, and the practical techniques managers can use to design effective information flows.