Title: Utility function-based patient prioritisation in the emergency department

Authors: David Claudio, Gul E. Okudan

Addresses: Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, 310 Leonhard Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA. ' School of Engineering Design, The Pennsylvania State University, 213T Hammond Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA

Abstract: With the increased awareness of productivity problems in healthcare operations, many researchers have proposed the implementation of tools and methods developed in other fields to benefit healthcare delivery. Accordingly, we present in this paper an exploratory work using a hypothetical example of a decision-making methodology, the multi-attribute utility analysis, to healthcare. The hypothetical sample problem presented involves patient prioritisation in an Emergency Department (ED), where several patients require immediate attention and they all have the same acuity level. Utility theory is selected for this application to appropriately account for the uncertainty in the decision problem. [Submitted 01 March 2008; Revised 05 September 2008; Revised 02 February 2009; Accepted 07 February 2009]

Keywords: utility functions; decision making; healthcare delivery; hospital emergency departments; multi-attribute utility theory; MAUT; patient prioritisation; productivity; hospital patients; doctors; nurses; medical staff.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIE.2010.029570

European Journal of Industrial Engineering, 2010 Vol.4 No.1, pp.59 - 77

Published online: 30 Nov 2009 *

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