Abstract

Emergency services in countries like Germany are defined by a complex service network and a multitude of planning problems and necessary decisions. In case of an emergency, emergency medical service (EMS) providers send an ambulance to the patient, perform first treatment and then transport most patients to a hospital. Often, more than one hospital is available. Therefore, an EMS provider must decide to which hospital, more specifically, to which emergency department (ED), the patient is taken, without knowing the current workload of the EDs. Applying the Design Science Research paradigm, we propose a concept for a decision support system that connects the EMS provider with the EDs and allows for an informed decision making that not only considers the patient’s, but also the EMS provider’s and the EDs’ objectives. Therefore, by applying system thinking, the decision support system enables customer-centric care. A first prototype of the system in form of a mock-up was developed and evaluated with emergency services providers who would mainly use the system. A research outline for fully designing and developing the system is presented.

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