A medical resource allocation model for serving emergency victims with deteriorating health conditions

Yisha Xiang, Jun Zhuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Large-scale disasters typically result in a shortage of essential medical resources, and thus it is critical to optimize resource allocation to improve the quality of the relief operations. One important factor that has been largely neglected when optimizing the available medical resources is the deterioration of victims’ health condition in the aftermath of a disaster; e.g., a victim’s health condition could deteriorate from mild to severe if not treated promptly. In this paper, we first present a novel queueing network to model this deterioration in health conditions. Second, we provide both analytical solutions and numerical illustrations for this queueing network. Finally, we formulate two resource allocation models in order to minimize the total expected death rate and total waiting time, respectively. Numerical examples are provided to illustrate the properties of optimal policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-196
Number of pages20
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Volume236
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Keywords

  • Deterioration
  • Disaster
  • Emergency relief
  • Health care
  • Queueing network

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