A Simulation and Online Optimization Approach for the Real-time Management of Ambulances

Emergency Medical Service (EMS) is one of the most important health care services as it plays a vital role in saving people’s lives and reducing the rate of mortality and co-morbidity. The importance and sensitivity of decision making in the EMS field have been recognized by researchers who studied many problems arising in the management of EMS systems since the 1960. Some authors of similar research present a review of the many simulation models that have been developed over the years: most of the available simulation approaches are based on a Discrete Event Simulation (DES) approach.

A peak of emergency demand can determine overcrowding at the Emergency Department (ED). Overcrowding is manifested through an excessive number of patients in the ED, long waiting times and patients leaving without being seen. Sometimes patients being treated in hallways and ambulances are diverted. Consequently, the ED overcrowding has a harmful impact on the health care. Simulation is often exploited for the analysis of the overcrowding at the ED and its impact on ambulance diversion. The AnyLogic healthcare facility simulation software was applied to create a model capable to deal with the real-time management of the ambulances, and to generate new ad hoc instances.

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