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Zubairi article on patient assignment disaster strategy published in journal
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A research article, "Smart Patient Assignment Algorithms for Disasters," written by Computer and Information Sciences Professor Junaid Zubairi, has been accepted for publication in Elsevier ICT Express, an international peer-reviewed journal published by the Korean Institute of Communications and Information Sciences.

The article, based on disaster management research that Dr. Zubairi carried out during a sabbatical, addresses the need to reduce the chaos in patient handling at a mass disaster site, such as a building collapse where hundreds of victims may need urgent transfer to suitable hospitals with trauma facilities.

“The proposed system determines the GPS coordinates of the disaster site then consults public software libraries to select at least three closest hospitals. Based on the known parameters such as hospital's treatment capacity, trauma rank, distance from the disaster site and condition of patient, our smart algorithm matches each patient to the most suitable hospital in advance of the actual transfer,” Zubairi explained.

As a result, there is no confusion or chaos in handling the patients, Zubairi said. More algorithms have been designed to find additional nearby hospitals when the current hospitals reach capacity. A building collapse disaster involving 400 to 800 patients was simulated. Each patient was matched to the most suitable hospital, he said.

Zubairi conducted his research at American University of Ras Al Khaimah, located in the United Arab Emirates, during the 2014-2015 academic year.

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