Optimization for locating Trauma centers and EMS resources
Reducing losses of lives from major injuries is one of the high priority tasks in healthcare delivery. In Korea, for example, the number of injuries is increasing at approximately 5% per year, and it has become the third cause of death for Korean citizens. In addition, injuries are the leading cause of death for the economically active population in many countries (Korea Center for Disease Control report, 2008 and Murray et al. 1996). Losses of the economically active population are a serious concern for economic and social development.
Resources and capabilities necessary to properly treat major injury patients encompass pre-hospital phase, ER phase, and specialized clinical phase including surgery for major injury and intensive case. It means that Trauma Center is required to have sufficient capabilities in OR (Operating Room), ICU (Intensive Care Unit) and other resources required for treating severely injured patients. Considering the fact that the importance of these resources and the limiting budgets to equip the proper resources, we first need to consider the location of Trauma Centers as a starting point to establish the Trauma Care system in Korea.
Thus, we address the question of optimal locations of limited number of Trauma Centers and transportation resources. In the context of facility location problems, our problem presents a few unique challenges in addition to the common difficulties. To tackle these difficulties, we use a mathematical modeling schemes and discrete-event-simulation.