Many aspects of life in North America changed in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks that took place in the United States on September 11, 2001. In addition to the implementation of new security protocols and the strengthening of those already in existence, there were also more subtle changes. Within the medical community, for example, it became evident that existing strategies for managing mass casualty incidents (MCI) were insufficient when dealing with large-scale terrorist attacks (Frykberg 2002; Frykberg 2003). In a position statement made by the American College of Surgeons (2003), it was acknowledged that a smoother integration of rescue, decontamination, triage, stabilization, evacuation and definitive treatment of casualties was required in order to enable the system to provide the best care to the greatest number of casualties in a mass casualty situation (American College of Surgeons 2003; American College of Surgeons 2010). This thesis introduces a web based spatial decision support system (SDSS) intended to assist health care providers at the scene of an MCI in determining the appropriate hospital to which critically injured patients should be evacuated. The model decision-making process utilizes the following factors in determining the evacuation hospital: proximity of the hospital to the MCI, hospital capability and real time bed capacity. The analysis and visualization associated with the SDSS incorporates spatial network analysis as well as specialized algorithms for calculating travel times. This is the first known SDSS to target and attempt to optimize decision-making processes during critical stages of evacuation.
Copyright is held by the author.
The author granted permission for the file to be printed and for the text to be copied and pasted.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Schuurman, Nadine
Member of collection