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Title: A decision support system to solve the problem of health care priority-setting
Authors: Pinho, Micaela
Moura, Ana
Keywords: AHP
Multi-criteria decision-making
Health care rationing
Patients priority setting
Issue Date: 25-Jun-2021
Publisher: Emerald
Citation: Pinho, M., & Moura, A. (2021). A decision support system to solve the problem of health care priority-setting. Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. Doi: Disponível no Repositório UPT,
Abstract: Purpose The purpose of this study is to provide a decision support tool to deal with the problem of seting priorites among patients competing for limited health care resources. Limited resources and unlimited demands prevent health-care services to be provided to all those in need. This became publicity evident with the current Covid-19 pandemic. Although controversial, health care rationing has always existed and is now inevitable. Setting priorities becomes then inevitable. How to define those priorities is a complex and yet irresolvable issue mainly because it involves several and conflicting criteria, translated into efficiency and equity considerations. This is why multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) was introduced to health care as an appropriate decision-support framework for solving complex problems.
Design/methodology/approach This paper proposes the application of two combined approaches – analytic hierarchy process (AHP)-Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) and AHP-VlseKriterijumska Optimizacija I Kompromisno Resenje (VIKOR), as decision support tools to rank patients with competing needs in a more effective and equitable way. A rationing scenario involving four patients, differentiated by personal characteristics and health conditions, is used to illustrate, test and compare the applicability of both approaches. After extraction of the relative weights of the prioritization criteria involved in the hypothetical scenario from paired wise comparison methods, TOPSIS and VIKOR priority setting methods were designed.
Findings Results suggest that patients ranking from both combination approaches are similar and in accordance with the order made directly by health-care professionals. Therefore, the relative weights computed by AHP in combination with TOPSIS and/or VIKOR methods could be used with suitable applicability by health-care decision-makers. Originality/value This study is the first attempt to apply a combination of MCDA methods to patients’ prioritization context and the first to cross previous studies to deepen and consolidate the research.
ISSN: 2053-4620
Appears in Collections:REMIT – Artigos em Revistas Internacionais / Papers in International Journals

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