An improved triage algorithm for emergency departments based on fuzzy AHP and utility theory

Omar M. Ashour, Gül E. Okudan, Carol A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In Emergency Department (ED) settings, improving productivity, reducing patient waiting time, and increasing patient safety are important aspects. Decision making (DM) strategies and techniques are crucial to ameliorate relevant performance measures for these aspects. One critical DM process in EDs is the triage. The information gathered in triage might be uncertain due to many reasons, e.g., patient subjectivity and no relevant information available at this stage (e.g., X-rays). Accordingly, in this paper, we present a triage algorithm that uses Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP) along with the Multi-Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT) to sort the patients. The FAHP takes into account the changing relative importance of the vital signs based on the primary complaint; thus, the status score reflects the severity due to the complaint and the vital sign levels. Three other attributes along with the status score help define the level of criticality: Patient's age, gender and pain level. MAUT is used to aggregate the variables to arrive at a prioritization. We present the application of the proposed methodology using a clinical data set with actual patient information. Our results show multi-faceted improvements achieved through the use of the proposed method in comparison to the triage algorithm currently in place.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2010
EventIIE Annual Conference and Expo 2010 - Cancun, Mexico
Duration: Jun 5 2010Jun 9 2010


OtherIIE Annual Conference and Expo 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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