Machine learning in patient flow: a review

Rasheed El-Bouri, Thomas Taylor, Alexey Youssef, Tingting Zhu, David A Clifton
2021 Progress in Biomedical Engineering  
This work is a review of the ways in which machine learning has been used in order to plan, improve or aid the problem of moving patients through healthcare services. We decompose the patient flow problem into four subcategories: prediction of demand on a healthcare institution, prediction of the demand and resource required to transfer patients from the emergency department to the hospital, prediction of potential resource required for the treatment and movement of inpatients and prediction of
more » ... s and prediction of length-of-stay and discharge timing. We argue that there are benefits to both approaches of considering the healthcare institution as a whole as well as the patient by patient case and that ideally a combination of these would be best for improving patient flow through hospitals. We also argue that it is essential for there to be a shared dataset that will allow researchers to benchmark their algorithms on and thereby allow future researchers to build on that which has already been done. We conclude that machine learning for the improvement of patient flow is still a young field with very few papers tailor-making machine learning methods for the problem being considered. Future works should consider the need to transfer algorithms trained on a dataset to multiple hospitals and allowing for dynamic algorithms which will allow real-time decision-making to help clinical staff on the shop floor.
doi:10.1088/2516-1091/abddc5 pmid:34738074 pmcid:PMC8559147 fatcat:ra4dfti3abaohifhxbhrdw6h6u