A location-based comparison of health care services in four U.S. states with efficiency and equity
This paper examines the efficiency and equality in geographic accessibility provided by hospitals. We use the criteria efficiency, availability of the service, and equality. Quantitative measures are defined for all criteria, and are measured using a geographical information system. We then compare existing locations with optimal locations satisfying two objectives, one that minimizes hospital–patient distance, and another that captures as many patients as possible within a pre-specified time or distance. The results of our study indicate that the existing locations provide near-optimal geographic access to health care. Some potential for improvement is indicated.
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