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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2421; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112421

An Improved Healthcare Accessibility Measure Considering the Temporal Dimension and Population Demand of Different Ages

1
School of Geodesy and Geomatics, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
2
Wuhan Land Resources and Planning Bureau, Wuhan 430014, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 September 2018 / Revised: 25 October 2018 / Accepted: 29 October 2018 / Published: 31 October 2018
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Abstract

Healthcare accessibility has become an issue of social equity. An accurate estimation of existing healthcare accessibility is vital to plan and allocate health resources. Healthcare capacity, population demand, and geographic impedance are three essential factors to measure spatial accessibility. Additionally, geographic impedance is usually represented with a function of travel time. In this paper, the three-step floating catchment area (3SFCA) method is improved from the perspectives of the temporal dimension and population demand. Specifically, the travel time from the population location to the service site is precisely calculated by introducing real-time traffic conditions instead of utilizing empirical speed in previous studies. Additionally, with the utilization of real-time traffic, a dynamic result of healthcare accessibility is derived during different time periods. In addition, since the medical needs of the elderly are higher than that of the young, a demand weight index of demand is introduced to adjust the population demand. A case study of healthcare accessibility in Wuhan shows that the proposed method is effective to measure healthcare accessibility during different time periods. The spatial accessibility disparities of communities and crowdedness of hospitals are identified as an important reference for the balance between the supply and demand of medical resources. View Full-Text
Keywords: healthcare accessibility; population demand; geographic impedance; the elderly; urban planning; 3SFCA; real-time traffic; crowdedness healthcare accessibility; population demand; geographic impedance; the elderly; urban planning; 3SFCA; real-time traffic; crowdedness
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Ma, L.; Luo, N.; Wan, T.; Hu, C.; Peng, M. An Improved Healthcare Accessibility Measure Considering the Temporal Dimension and Population Demand of Different Ages. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2421.

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