Location of Heath Care Facilities in Competitive and User Choice Environment

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran


The location of facilities anywhere in an area in which several competing facilities already exist and serving the demand points has been brought to light in this work. Because of the great importance of health care systems in the health of the people, these systems have been studied in the present paper. Creation and maintenance of competitive advantage in health care systems requires optimizing the location decision and understanding customers’ behaviors. Customers’ behavior is considered and explicitly modeled in this work. Each facility attracts customers within a “sphere of influence” defined by a “gravity-like spatial interaction model”. Customers have full control over which system they choose to patronize and they do so by applying the attractive elements with each center. the attractive factors that affect the user choice behavior are: the lower travelling time, the quality of the services or the reputation of centers. We also investigate how various parameters will affect the market shares of ours and competitors’ facilities in the user choice environment. The hospitals have several low level sections to offer low level services (such as primary services) and several high level sections to offer high level services (such as professional services) and the patients will refer to different sections of the hospitals according to their requirements and their health status. Two metaheuristic algorithms including ant colony optimization and tabu search are developed to solve the model and be applied to some numerical examples. TOPSIS method and statistical t- test are performed to evaluate the results of the proposed algorithms.


Main Subjects

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  • Receive Date: 03 August 2016
  • Revise Date: 02 October 2016
  • Accept Date: 07 November 2016
  • First Publish Date: 18 March 2017