טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentNoa Zychlinski
SubjectAnalyzing and Modeling Mass Casualty Events in Hospitals -
An Operational View via Fluid Models
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisors Dr. Cohen Izack
Full Professor Mandelbaum Avishai
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

In a Mass-Casualty Event (MCE) the work brought by casualties exceeds the capacity for taking care of them. Such events, unfortunately, happen all the time. They may have either a world-wide effect (e.g., the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed over 200,000 people) or a local one (e.g., a terror attack or a train accident that sends tens of casualties to a hospital) - in both cases there is a continuous imbalance between the workload and the available resources. Therefore it is very important to prepare for such events.

We concentrate on the operational aspects of MCE in hospitals. A central problem in establishing a hospital's emergency plan is the inability to forecast the performances of healthcare services. When an MCE occurs, suddenly and all at once, the demand for healthcare staff and facilities increases, and an emergency plan must be quickly implemented. Such a plan has clinical and operational components. The focus of this research is on the latter.

The mainstream approach for modeling MCEs is through simulation. We, on the other hand, develop a mathematical model (a fluid model) that captures the operational performance of a hospital during and after an MCE. The results from the fluid model are in agreement with a simulation model that was developed for validation purposes.

We formulate optimization problems with the objective of minimizing the mortality of casualties. We then solve the problems by combining theory with numerical analysis. Our research enhances the understanding of the operational effects of MCEs. It provides managerial insights that support dynamic resource allocation throughout the MCE. We then capture these insights in terms of managerial guidelines.