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Minimizing travel time in a Neonatal Care Network

Buter, R. (2019) Minimizing travel time in a Neonatal Care Network.

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Abstract:Every general hospital is assigned to one primary NICU in the Netherlands. During a transport to a NICU, the newborn is accompanied by a doctor and a nurse. The primary NICU is responsible for providing the transportation for hospitals in their own region. If a NICU is fully occupied, then that NICU is responsible for finding another NICU to admit a new patient. We used mathematical models to minimize NIC travel time by optimizing the assignment of general hospitals to NICUs. We formulated a heuristic to calculate transfers within a network of queues using a Continuous-time Markov Chain. However, for a case study of this size (nine NICUs) we had to use Discrete Event Simulation instead. An optimization heuristic was formulated and used to find optimal solutions. We found for the current situation a travel time of 73.47 minutes on average per patient and 690 transfers per year. By applying our optimization heuristic, we found a travel time reduction of approximately 4.6 minutes on average per patient compared to the current situation. Compared to the lower bound, this is a reduction of 25.8% of the undesirable transport time. In addition, the number of transfers are reduced by 15.7%. By reallocating all 163 beds optimally among the NICUs, we found an average travel time of approximately 65.08 minutes per patient. Compared to the current situation, we found a reduction of 47% in undesirable travel time and a decrease of 35.5% in the number of transfers.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Wilhelmina Kinderziekenhuis, Utrecht, Netherlands
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:50 technical science in general, 58 process technology
Programme:Industrial Engineering and Management MSc (60029)
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