Many ambulance providers operate both advanced life support (ALS) and basic life support (BLS) ambulances. Typically, only an ALS ambulance can respond to an emergency call, whereas non-urgent patient transportation requests can be served by either an ALS or a BLS ambulance. The total capacity of BLS ambulances is usually not enough to fulfill all non-urgent transportation requests. The remaining transportation requests then have to be performed by ALS ambulances, which reduces the coverage for emergency calls. We present a model that determines the routes for BLS ambulances while maximizing the remaining coverage by ALS ambulances. Different from the classical dial-a-ride problem, only one patient can be transported at a time, and not all requests are known in advance. Throughout the day, new requests arrive, and we present an online model to deal with these requests.

Additional Metadata
Keywords integer linear programming, non-urgent patient transportation, online scheduling, OR in healthcare
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1287/trsc.2018.0823
Journal Transportation Science
Citation
van den Berg, P. L.-J, & van Essen, J.T. (2019). Scheduling non-urgent patient transportation while maximizing emergency coverage. Transportation Science, 53(2), 492–509. doi:10.1287/trsc.2018.0823