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Development, test and comparison of two Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) models: A case of healthcare infrastructure location

Dehe, B and Bamford, D (2015) Development, test and comparison of two Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) models: A case of healthcare infrastructure location. Expert Systems with Applications, 42 (19). pp. 6717-6727. ISSN 0957-4174

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Abstract

© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. When planning a new development, location decisions have always been a major issue. This paper examines and compares two modelling methods used to inform a healthcare infrastructure location decision. Two Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) models were developed to support the optimisation of this decision-making process, within a National Health Service (NHS) organisation, in the UK. The proposed model structure is based on seven criteria (environment and safety, size, total cost, accessibility, design, risks and population profile) and 28 sub-criteria. First, Evidential Reasoning (ER) was used to solve the model, then, the processes and results were compared with the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). It was established that using ER or AHP led to the same solutions. However, the scores between the alternatives were significantly different; which impacted the stakeholders' decision-making. As the processes differ according to the model selected, ER or AHP, it is relevant to establish the practical and managerial implications for selecting one model or the other and providing evidence of which models best fit this specific environment. To achieve an optimum operational decision it is argued, in this study, that the most transparent and robust framework is achieved by merging ER process with the pair-wise comparison, an element of AHP. This paper makes a defined contribution by developing and examining the use of MCDA models, to rationalise new healthcare infrastructure location, with the proposed model to be used for future decision. Moreover, very few studies comparing different MCDA techniques were found, this study results enable practitioners to consider even further the modelling characteristics to ensure the development of a reliable framework, even if this means applying a hybrid approach.

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