Analytics aim to reduce overcrowding in ERs with machine learning

Using data analytics to understand hospital emergency department overcrowding and wait times, two researchers have developed a methodology to predict future ER demand. Hospitals that use their analysis could use the results to reduce wait times for patients by as much as 15 percent, the researchers contend. The methodology uses machine learning technology to assess data on known patterns of ER activity, say Carri Chan, associate professor of business at Columbia Business School, and Kuang Xu, an assistant professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Carri Chan Their approach takes into account factors such as time of day, general level of severity, holidays, weather patterns, bad air quality, flu season and special events, to predict how many walk-in patients will come during a certain time period. That data then can…


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