Abstract for: Hospital Evacuation During Disasters: A System Dynamics Approach
This paper explores and tries to understand hospital evacuation in the event of a natural disaster that prompts patient evacuation, aiming to uncover principles that apply to hospital evacuation and patient relocation. We use system dynamics to simulate hospital evacuation in the event of a disaster that prompts patient transfer. Our simulations found that the key to managing hospital evacuation efficiently lies less in the resources related to patient transportation, i.e., ambulances and evacuation routes, and more in the ability of the receiving hospital to manage the influx of patients. The decision maker at the hospital receiving patients holds the most leverage in determining the rate and amount of the evacuation. Based on simulation results, we uncovered principles that apply to hospital evacuation and patient relocation. Planners and policy makers can use the recommendations to facilitate efficient hospital evacuations.