STOPGAP: Stroke patient management and capacity planning

Sally I McClean, Yiming Qiao, Ken Fullerton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Stroke disease places a heavy burden on society due to the debilitating and complex nature of the disease. Frequently stroke patients have a prolonged length of stay (LOS) in hospital, which may be an unnecessary and an inefficient use of resources. In addition, on-going care such as long-term nursing, and community based care place a substantial burden on health and social services. Building on previous work that modeled patient pathways in terms of phases we have developed an approach that computes the optimal number of stroke patients to send by ambulance from an admitting hospital to satellite hospitals that offer stroke in-patient hospital services. The objective is to ensure that capacity constraints are met, while moving as few patients as possible. While our theoretical solution and implementation focus on the specifics of the Belfast Trust, the methodology is clearly generalizable to other hospital settings in different contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-86
JournalOperations Research for Health Care
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Sept 2015


  • Stroke patient management
  • Stroke capacity planning
  • Coxian phase type distribution
  • Markov models


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