Optimizing emergency preparedness and resource utilization in mass-casualty incidents

Panagiotis Repoussis, Dimitris Paraskevopoulos, Alkiviadis Vazacopoulos, Nathaniel Hupert

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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. The 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-544
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number2
Early online date2 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


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