Healthcare delivery in the United States has been characterized as overly reactive and dependent on emergency department care for safety net coverage. The system is criticized for a lack of discharge planning and high readmissions and emergency department bounce-back rates. Community paramedicine is a recent healthcare innovation that enables proactive visitation of patients at home, often shortly after emergency department and hospital discharge. We establish the first optimization-based framework to study efficiencies in the management and operation of a community paramedicine program. The collective innovations of our modeling include i) a novel hierarchical objective function with the goals of fairly increasing patient welfare, lowering hospital costs, and reducing readmissions and emergency department visits, ii) a new constraint set that ensures priority same-day visits for critically ill patients, and iii) a further extension of our model to determine minimum supplemental resources necessary to ensure feasibility in a single optimization formulation. Our medical-need based objective function prioritizes patients based on their clinical features and seeks to select and schedule patient visits and route healthcare providers to maximize overall patient welfare while favoring shorter tours. We use our methods to develop managerial insights via computational experiments on a variety of test instances based on real data from a hospital system in Upstate New York. We are able to identify optimal and nearly optimal tours that efficiently select, route, and schedule patients in reasonable timeframes. Our results lead to insights that can be used to support managerial decisions about establishing (and improving existing) community paramedicine programs.
Azizi, S., Aygul, O., Faber, B., Johnson, S., Konrad, R., Trapp, A.C. 2022. Select, Route and Schedule: Optimizing Community Paramedicine Service Delivery with Mandatory Visits and Patient Prioritization. Technical Report. URL http://optimization-online.org/DB_HTML/2020/12/8151.html
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