Annals of Operations Research

, Volume 221, Issue 1, pp 89–106 | Cite as

Decision support for hospital evacuation and emergency response



Evacuation planning is an important part of a hospital’s emergency management plan. In an evacuation the safety and health of patients is the fundamental success parameter. Thus, in this paper we introduce an evacuation model, appropriate for planning and operations, that has the objective of minimizing expected risk, both the threat risk that is forcing the evacuation, and the risk inherent in transporting patients, some in critical condition. Specifically, we study the allocation of patients, categorized by criticality and care requirements, to a limited fleet of vehicles of various capacities and medical capabilities, to be transported to appropriate receiving hospitals considering the current available space in each hospital for each category of patient. The model is an integer program, where the non-linear expected risks are calculated a-priori. This model has a structure that has excellent solution characteristics that permit us to solve large problems in a reasonable time, enabling the model to potentially be used for both planning and operations. To illustrate the solvability of this model and demonstrate its characteristics, we apply it to a realistic case study based on the evacuation of a large regional hospital.


Hospital evacuation planning Emergency response Risk management Integer programming 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (0118)Virginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  2. 2.Emergency Management & SafetyCarilion Medical CenterRoanokeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Basic ScienceVirginia Tech Carilion School of MedicineRoanokeUSA

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