Measuring Emergency Care Network Population Coverage Using Location-Allocation Models and Geographic Information Systems
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The objective of this thesis is to measure how the Nova Scotia Emergency Care Network, consisting of Emergency Departments (EDs) and Collaborative Emergency Centres (CECs), covers the population, and provide a tool to evaluate changes to the system. This study uses a Geographic Information System (GIS) and location-allocation models including the P-median problem, p-centre problem, location set covering problem (LSCP), and the maximal covering location problem (MCLP). Distance is measured in kilometres following the road network, and the population is represented as aggregate points corresponding to Statistics Canada Dissemination Areas. We analyze the existing network by computing the population-weighted travel distance of the population to each ED, the maximum distance any person must travel, and the number of people within a specified distance from an ED. We also consider several proposed changes to the network and compute the degree of improvement expected using these metrics.