Supporting Short-term Decision Making for Interfacility Medical Transportation
Medical dispatchers are responsible for making decisions about when and how patients are transferred by different hospitals. This can be a very difficult task since patients who are in urgent or emergent conditions require immediate transfers. One of the key pieces of information that dispatchers use in these medical decisions is the time to definitive care, the time between when the request for transportation is received to when the patient is finally handed over at the destination. Generating estimates of time to definitive care is difficult for dispatchers and the estimates are often shorter than actual transfer times. Evidence-based decision support tools can help improve the accuracy and reliability of dispatcher estimates, which can in turn improve medical and resource allocation decisions regarding interfacility medical transfers. The proposed research will examine how such a decision support tool will impact the decision process of dispatchers, and how uncertainty information can help improve usage of the decision support tool. This will help facilitate the design of better decision support tools that will improve patient outcomes during interfacility medical transport.