Title: Fuzzy AHP and utility theory based patient sorting in emergency departments

Authors: Omar M. Ashour, Gul E. Okudan

Addresses: The Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, 201 Engineering Unit B, University Park, PA 16802, USA. ' The Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering; School of Engineering Design, The Pennsylvania State University, 213T Hammond Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA

Abstract: Triage, a classification system used to separate patients based on the acuity of their condition, is considered in this study. Triage process relies on the nurse|s interaction with the patient (e.g., a conversation on symptoms, visual observation, and vital sign measurements), and the subsequent severity classification. However, potential miscommunication, and thus uncertainty could be present in this process. In order to account for this uncertainty, a triage algorithm that uses fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (FAHP) along with the multi-attribute utility theory (MAUT) to sort the patients is presented. FAHP is used to get an acuity score on the chief complaint, and MAUT integrates this score with age, gender, and pain level to provide a final prioritisation. In the paper, a clinical case study is provided for which we used an expert nurse|s judgments to build the FAHP and the utility functions.

Keywords: decision making; fuzzy AHP; analytical hierarchy process; FAHP; multi-attribute utility theory; MAUT; emergency departments; patient sorting; hospitals; classification systems; patient separation; medical conditions; acuity scores; nurses; interaction; symptoms; visual observation; vital signs; severity classification; miscommunication; uncertainty; triage algorithms; medical complaints; integration; age; gender; pain levels; prioritisation; utility functions; Susquehanna Health; Divine Providence Hospital; Muncy Valley Hospital; Williamsport Hospital; Pennsylvania; USA; United States; collaborative enterprises; collaboration; healthcare systems; systems engineering.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCENT.2010.038357

International Journal of Collaborative Enterprise, 2010 Vol.1 No.3/4, pp.332 - 358

Published online: 01 Feb 2011 *

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