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Department of Management

Dr Alison Harper

Dr Alison Harper

Lecturer in Operations & Analytics

 A.L.Harper@exeter.ac.uk

 07922109777

 Building:One 

 

Building:One,  University of Exeter, Rennes Drive,  Exeter,  EX4 4ST, UK


Overview

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.

ORCID:0000-0001-5274-5037

Current Research:

STARS: Sharing Tools and Artefacts for Reproducible Simulations in healthcare.

STARS aims to improve the quality and quantity of shared discrete-event simulation models, tools, and other research artefacts in healthcare through the development of a new framework for sharing computer models, online interactive training materials for knowledge transfer, user testing, and support for simulation journals to adopt open science principles. It is funded by MRC and is led by UEMS, and runs until 2026.

Previous 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.

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. It is 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. 

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Research

Research interests

  • Real time simulation
  • Hybrid modelling 
  • Discrete event simulation
  • Health service delivery

Research projects

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. 

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Publications

Journal articles

Monks T, Harper A (2023). Computer model and code sharing practices in healthcare discrete-event simulation: a systematic scoping review. JOURNAL OF SIMULATION  Author URL.
Wood RM, Harper AL, Onen-Dumlu Z, Forte PG, Pitt M, Vasilakis C (2023). Correction to: the False Economy of Seeking to Eliminate Delayed Transfers of Care: Some Lessons from Queueing Theory. Appl Health Econ Health Policy, 21(5).  Author URL.
Harper A, Monks T, Wilson R, Redaniel MT, Eyles E, Jones T, Penfold C, Elliott A, Keen T, Pitt M, et al (2023). Development and application of simulation modelling for orthopaedic elective resource planning in England. BMJ Open, 13(12), e076221-e076221. Abstract.
Monks T, Harper A, Allen M, Collins L, Mayne A (2023). Forecasting the daily demand for emergency medical ambulances in England and Wales: a benchmark model and external validation. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 23(1). Abstract.
Monks T, Harper A (2023). Improving the usability of open health service delivery simulation models using Python and web apps. NIHR Open Research, 3, 48-48. Abstract.
Monks T, Harper A (2023). Improving the usability of open health service delivery simulation models using Python and web apps. NIHR Open Res, 3 Abstract.  Author URL.
Harper A, Mustafee N (2023). Participatory design research for the development of real-time simulation models in healthcare. Health Systems, 12(4), 375-386.
Harper A, Mustafee N, Viana J (2023). Real-time Simulation in Urgent and Emergency Care: a Transformative Shift towards Responsive Decision-making. SSRN Electronic Journal
Wood RM, Harper AL, Onen-Dumlu Z, Forte PG, Pitt M, Vasilakis C (2023). The False Economy of Seeking to Eliminate Delayed Transfers of Care: Some Lessons from Queueing Theory. Appl Health Econ Health Policy, 21(2), 243-251. Abstract.  Author URL.
Wilson R, Margelyte R, Redaniel MT, Eyles E, Jones T, Penfold C, Blom A, Elliott A, Harper A, Keen T, et al (2022). Identification of risk factors associated with prolonged hospital stay following primary knee replacement surgery: a retrospective, longitudinal observational study. BMJ Open, 12(12). Abstract.  Author URL.
Harper A, Mustafee N, Pitt M (2022). Increasing situation awareness in healthcare through real-time simulation. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 74(11), 2339-2349.
Onen-Dumlu Z, Harper AL, Forte PG, Powell AL, Pitt M, Vasilakis C, Wood RM (2022). Optimising the balance of acute and intermediate care capacity for the complex discharge pathway: Computer modelling study during COVID-19 recovery in England. PLoS One, 17(6). Abstract.  Author URL.
Harper A, Mustafee N (2022). Strategic resource planning of endoscopy services using hybrid modelling for future demographic and policy change. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 74(5), 1286-1299.
Monks T, Allen M, Harper A, Mayne A, Collins L (2021). Forecasting the daily demand for emergency medical ambulances in England and Wales:. A benchmark model and external validation. Abstract.
Harper A, Mustafee N, Yearworth M (2020). Facets of Trust in Simulation Studies. European Journal of Operational Research Abstract.
Tolk A, Harper A, Mustafee N (2020). Hybrid Models as Transdisciplinary Research Enablers. European Journal of Operational Research, NA, NA-NA.

Chapters

Ören T, Davis PK, Goldstein R, Khan A, Capocchi L, Hamri ME-A, Mustafee N, Harper AL, Hou B, Li BH, et al (2023). Simulation as Experimentation. In  (Ed) Simulation Foundations, Methods and Applications, Springer International Publishing, 77-119.

Conferences

Harper A, Monks T (2023). A Framework to Share Healthcare Simulations on the Web Using Free and Open Source Tools and Python. SW23 the OR Society Simulation Workshop.
Mustafee N, Harper A, Viana J (2023). Hybrid Models with Real-Time Data in Healthcare: a Focus on Data Synchronization and Experimentation. 2023 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC). 10th - 13th Dec 2023.
Mustafee N, Harper A, Viana J (2023). Hybrid Models with Real-time Data: Characterising Real-time Simulation and Digital Twins. SW23 the OR Society Simulation Workshop.
Önen-Dumlu Z, Forte P, Harper A, Pitt M, Vasilakis C, Wood R (2023). Improving Hospital Discharge Flow Through Scalable Use of Discrete Time Simulation and Scenario Analysis. SW23 the OR Society Simulation Workshop.
Harper A, Pitt M, Monks T (2023). Open-Source Modeling for Orthopedic Elective Capacity Planning using Discrete-Event Simulation. 2023 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC).
Mustafee N, Harper A, Fakhimi M (2022). From Conceptualization of Hybrid Modelling & Simulation to Empirical Studies in Hybrid Modelling. 2022 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC). 11th - 14th Dec 2022.
Harper A, Mustafee N, Yearworth M (2022). The Issue of Trust and Implementation of Results in Healthcare Modeling and Simulation Studies. 2022 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC). 11th - 14th Dec 2022.
Harper A, Pitt M, De Prez M, Dumlu ZO, Vasilakis C, Forte P, Wood R (2021). A Demand and Capacity Model for Home-Based Intermediate Care: Optimizing the 'Step Down' Pathway. Abstract.
Mustafee N, Harper A, Onggo S (2020). Hybrid Modelling and Simulation (M&S): Driving Innovation in the Theory and Practice of M&S. 2020 Winter Simulation Conference. 14th - 18th Dec 2020.
Harper A, Mustafee N (2019). A Hybrid Modelling Approach Using Forecasting and Real-Time Simulation to Prevent Emergency Department Overcrowding. Abstract.
Harper A, Mustafee N (2019). Proactive service recovery in emergency departments: a hybrid modelling approach using forecasting and real-time simulation. Abstract.
Mustafee N, Powell JH, Harper A (2018). RH-RT: a Data Analytics Framework for Reducing Wait Time at Emergency Departments and Centres for Urgent Care. 2018 Winter Simulation Conference. 9th - 12th Dec 2018. Abstract.
Harper A, Mustafee N, Feeney M (2017). A hybrid approach using forecasting and discrete-event simulation for endoscopy services.
Mustafee N, Powell JH, Martin S, Fordyce A, Harper A (2017). Investigating the use of real-time data in nudging patients' Emergency Department (ED) attendance behaviour. Abstract.
Mustafee N, Powell JH, Harper A (2017). Right hospital- right time: a business analytics framework for analysing urgent care/a&e wait time data. Abstract.

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External Engagement and Impact

Awards

  • 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.
  • Committee Member University of Exeter Impact Community of Practice 2024-ongoing

External positions

  • Honorary Senior Research Associate at University of Bristol

Invited lectures

  • September 2022 Invited Lecture to MITRE Corporation Modelling and Analytics Innovation Centre, Virginia USA

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Teaching

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.

Modules

2023/24


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