Optimization of preventive health care facility locations
1 Department of Geomatics Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N 1N4
2 Population Health Research, Alberta Health Services Cancer Care, 1331 - 29th Street NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N 4N2
International Journal of Health Geographics 2010, 9:17 doi:10.1186/1476-072X-9-17Published: 18 March 2010
Preventive health care programs can save lives and contribute to a better quality of life by diagnosing serious medical conditions early. The Preventive Health Care Facility Location (PHCFL) problem is to identify optimal locations for preventive health care facilities so as to maximize participation. When identifying locations for preventive health care facilities, we need to consider the characteristics of the preventive health care services. First, people should have more flexibility to select service locations. Second, each preventive health care facility needs to have a minimum number of clients in order to retain accreditation.
This paper presents a new methodology for solving the PHCFL problem. In order to capture the characteristics of preventive health care services, we define a new accessibility measurement that combines the two-step floating catchment area method, distance factor, and the Huff-based competitive model. We assume that the accessibility of preventive health care services is a major determinant for participation in the service. Based on the new accessibility measurement, the PHCFL problem is formalized as a bi-objective model based on efficiency and coverage. The bi-objective model is solved using the Interchange algorithm. In order to accelerate the solving process, we implement the Interchange algorithm by building two new data structures, which captures the spatial structure of the PHCFL problem. In addition, in order to measure the spatial barrier between clients and preventive health care facilities accurately and dynamically, this paper estimates travelling distance and travelling time by calling the Google Maps Application Programming Interface (API).
Experiments based on a real application for the Alberta breast cancer screening program show that our work can increase the accessibility of breast cancer screening services in the province.