Healthcare Operations Research and Management under Pandemics: a Review

This literature review sought to identify the role of Operations Research and Management (OR-and-OM) in the Healthcare Systems (HS) decision/policy making processes that have undergone a remarkable transformation when faced with pandemics, especially during the COVID-19 era.
In this study, we investigate OR models and OM techniques that facilitate clinical decision-making with short- and long-term objectives for operational cost reductions and increase of social welfare from the HS's point of view and public policymaker's perspective, respectively.
Here, our concern is investigating expensive and complex decisions to provide healthcare services during the outbreak of an infectious disease such as SARS, Ebola, seasonal influenza and influenza pandemic, COVID-19 pandemic, while available capacities are overwhelmed by the heavy influx of patients.
The complexity of such tactical/operational decisions during pandemics may even turn their scope into triage decisions which may entail unknown future cost-trajectories.
Based on the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, these decisions are categorized into preparedness and response plans to be performed before the declaration of a pandemic, in anticipation of such events and respectively, after its declaration to hedge its fatalities.
We also highlight decision-making practices designed to allocate strategic investments for public-health policy-making purposes with conflicting and costly objectives to combat epidemics/pandemics at state- and national-level governments.
Finally, we present future research directions in the pandemic context.



View Healthcare Operations Research and Management under Pandemics: a Review