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Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 398;

Sustainable Urban Homecare Delivery with Different Means of Transport

Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies, 5290 Šempeter-Vrtojba, Slovenia
Faculty of Organisation Studies in Novo mesto, 8000 Novo Mesto, Slovenia
Business Engineering Research Group, Polytechnic University of Cartagena, 30202 Cartagena, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 4 February 2018
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Due to the increasing number of requests for homecare services, care institutions struggle to perform in urban traffic, which eventually makes travel times longer and less predictable and, therefore, leads to a declining service quality. Homecare delivery scheduling and planning tools must lead to efficient reliable routes that allow the nursing crew to make the least efforts and use the fewest institutional resources, and that consider urban sustainability goals. For the case study, a European city was selected with 58,000 people of whom 73 patients received long-term care at homes provided by 11 homecare nurses. While maximising patient satisfaction, a homecare planning algorithm considered many means of transport and minimised travel times. The study reduced the total nurses’ working hours/day by a bus and walking combination, and by comparing if nurses ride e-bikes, which respectively reduced ~35–44% of the total time that nurses spent travelling. This result is applicable to an urban environment where the public transport network is sufficient and biking is allowed on a reasonable number of roads. Better homecare management can support the efficient use of resources of health care institutions, high-quality home care and aspirations towards livable communities and sustainable development. View Full-Text
Keywords: home care; sustainable and efficient transport; algorithm in an urban environment; sustainable communities home care; sustainable and efficient transport; algorithm in an urban environment; sustainable communities
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Szander, N.; Ros-McDonnell, L.; de-la-Fuente-Aragón, M.V.; Vodopivec, R. Sustainable Urban Homecare Delivery with Different Means of Transport. Sustainability 2018, 10, 398.

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