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Optimizing emergency preparedness and resource utilization in mass-casualty incidents

Repoussis, P.P., Paraskevopoulos, D. C., Vazacopoulos, A. & Hupert, N. (2016). Optimizing emergency preparedness and resource utilization in mass-casualty incidents. European Journal of Operational Research, 255(2), pp. 531-544. doi: 10.1016/j.ejor.2016.05.047


This paper presents a response model for the aftermath of a Mass-Casualty Incident (MCI) that can be used to provide operational guidance for regional emergency planning as well as to evaluate strategic preparedness plans. A mixed integer programming (MIP) formulation is proposed for the combined ambulance dispatching, patient-to-hospital assignment, and treatment ordering problem. T he goal is to allocate effectively the limited resources during the response so as to improve patient outcomes, while the objectives are to minimize the overall response time and the total flow time required to treat all patients, in a hierarchical fashion. The model is solved via exact and MIP-based heuristic solution methods. The applicability of the model and the performance of the new methods are challenged on realistic MCI scenarios. We consider the hypothetical case of a terror attack at the New York Stock Exchange in Lower Manhattan with up to 150 trauma patients. We quantify the impact of capacity-based bottlenecks for both ambulances and available hospital beds. We also explore the trade-off between accessing remote hospitals for demand smoothing versus reduced ambulance transportation times.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Emergency medical services; Mass-casualty incident; Scheduling; Ambulance dispatching; Local search
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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