Bi-objective approach for placing ground and air ambulance base and helipad locations in order to optimize EMS response

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Abstract

Shortening the travel time of patient transfer has clinical implications for many conditions such as cardiac arrest, trauma, stroke and STEMI. As resources are often limited precise calculations are needed. In this paper we consider the location problem for both ground and aerial emergency medical services. Given the uncertainty of when patients are in need of prompt medical attention we consider these demand points to be uncertain. We consider various ways in which ground and helicopter ambulances can work together to make the whole process go faster. We develop a mathematical model that minimizes travel time and maximizes service level. We use a compromising programming method to solve this bi-objective mathematical model. For numerical experiments we apply our model to a case study in Lorestan, Iran, using geographical and population data, and the location of the actual hospital based in the capital of the province. Results show that low-accessibility locations are the main focus of the proposed problem and with mathematical modeling access to a hospital is vastly improved. We also found out that once the budget reaches a certain point which suffices for building certain ambulance bases more investments does not necessarily result in less travel time.

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