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Special Issue "Using Fuzzy Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Methods for Improving the Performance of Public Emergency Departments during the COVID-19 Outbreak"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2023 | Viewed by 3704

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Juan José Alfaro-Saíz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Higher Technical School of Industrial Engineering, Department of Business Organization, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera, s / n 46022 Valencia, Valencia, Spain
Interests: business organization; enterprise computing; decision making; information technology
Prof. Dr. Miguel Ángel Ortiz-Barrios
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Productivity and Innovation, Universidad de la Costa CUC, Calle 58 # 55 - 66, Barranquilla, Colombia
Interests: multi-criteria decision making; lean six sigma; emergency departments; healthcare logistics; simulation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Emergency departments are 24/7 units in charge of providing urgent care to seriously ill patients and those experiencing life-threatening conditions. The role of these departments has become more relevant considering that the COVID-19 pandemic has unexpectedly changed the demand patterns of emergency care services. In fact, robust emergency units are needed for effectively responding to the new healthcare scenario, especially in the public sector where resources are highly restricted. Therefore, it is important to continuously improve the performance of these units through fostering focused, in-time, and effective interventions. Given the multidimensional nature of emergency department performance and the complexity added by the COVID-19 pandemic, several dimensions and fuzzy approaches need to be considered when improving the response of emergency care in the public sector. In this sense, this Special Issue aims to present works based on fuzzy multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) methods addressing specific aspects or dimensions, and those seeking to improve performance from a global perspective. Conceptual frameworks, empirical studies, case studies, research articles with models, methodologies, and literature reviews are welcome.

The potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

- Fuzzy MCDM methods to improve one or more dimensions of emergency departments;

- New key indicators to measure the performance of emergency departments;

- Hybrid fuzzy MCDM methods and their relevance in addressing the overall performance of public emergency departments.

Prof. Dr. Juan José Alfaro-Saíz
Prof. Dr. Miguel Ángel Ortiz-Barrios
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • public emergency departments
  • fuzzy MCDM methods
  • emergency department performance
  • healthcare
  • performance indicators
  • COVID-19

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

Review
Process Improvement Approaches for Increasing the Response of Emergency Departments against the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8814; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168814 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1395
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has strongly affected the dynamics of Emergency Departments (EDs) worldwide and has accentuated the need for tackling different operational inefficiencies that decrease the quality of care provided to infected patients. The EDs continue to struggle against this outbreak by implementing [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has strongly affected the dynamics of Emergency Departments (EDs) worldwide and has accentuated the need for tackling different operational inefficiencies that decrease the quality of care provided to infected patients. The EDs continue to struggle against this outbreak by implementing strategies maximizing their performance within an uncertain healthcare environment. The efforts, however, have remained insufficient in view of the growing number of admissions and increased severity of the coronavirus disease. Therefore, the primary aim of this paper is to review the literature on process improvement interventions focused on increasing the ED response to the current COVID-19 outbreak to delineate future research lines based on the gaps detected in the practical scenario. Therefore, we applied the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines to perform a review containing the research papers published between December 2019 and April 2021 using ISI Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, IEEE, Google Scholar, and Science Direct databases. The articles were further classified taking into account the research domain, primary aim, journal, and publication year. A total of 65 papers disseminated in 51 journals were concluded to satisfy the inclusion criteria. Our review found that most applications have been directed towards predicting the health outcomes in COVID-19 patients through machine learning and data analytics techniques. In the overarching pandemic, healthcare decision makers are strongly recommended to integrate artificial intelligence techniques with approaches from the operations research (OR) and quality management domains to upgrade the ED performance under social-economic restrictions. Full article
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Review
Performance of Fuzzy Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis of Emergency System in COVID-19 Pandemic. An Extensive Narrative Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5208; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105208 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1692
Abstract
The actual coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to the limit of emergency systems worldwide, leading to the collapse of health systems, police, first responders, as well as other areas. Various ways of dealing with this world crisis have been proposed from [...] Read more.
The actual coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to the limit of emergency systems worldwide, leading to the collapse of health systems, police, first responders, as well as other areas. Various ways of dealing with this world crisis have been proposed from many aspects, with fuzzy multi-criteria decision analysis being a method that can be applied to a wide range of emergency systems and professional groups, aiming to confront several associated issues and challenges. The purpose of this critical review was to discuss the basic principles, present current applications during the first pandemic wave, and propose future implications of this methodology. For this purpose, both primary sources, such as scientific articles, and secondary ones, such as bibliographic indexes, web pages, and databases, were used. The main search engines were PubMed, SciELO, and Google Scholar. The method was a systematic literature review of the available literature regarding the performance of the fuzzy multi-criteria decision analysis of emergency systems in the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of this study highlight the importance of the fuzzy multi-criteria decision analysis method as a beneficial tool for healthcare workers and first responders’ emergency professionals to face this pandemic as well as to manage the created uncertainty and its related risks. Full article
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