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Forecasting hourly emergency department arrival using time series analysis

Citation

Choudhury, Avishek; Urena, Estefania (2020), Forecasting hourly emergency department arrival using time series analysis, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.q57d4g4

Abstract

Background/aims

The stochastic arrival of patients at hospital emergency departments complicates their management. More than 50% of a hospital's emergency department tends to operate beyond its normal capacity and eventually fails to deliver high-quality care. To address this concern, much research has been carried out using yearly, monthly and weekly time-series forecasting. This article discusses the use of hourly time-series forecasting to help improve emergency department management by predicting the arrival of future patients.

Methods

Emergency department admission data from January 2014 to August 2017 was retrieved from a hospital in Iowa. The auto-regressive integrated moving average (ARIMA), Holt–Winters, TBATS, and neural network methods were implemented and compared as forecasters of hourly patient arrivals.

Results

The auto-regressive integrated moving average (3,0,0) (2,1,0) was selected as the best fit model, with minimum Akaike information criterion and Schwartz Bayesian criterion. The model was stationary and qualified under the Box–Ljung correlation test and the Jarque–Bera test for normality. The mean error and root mean square error were selected as performance measures. A mean error of 1.001 and a root mean square error of 1.55 were obtained.

Conclusions

The auto-regressive integrated moving average can be used to provide hourly forecasts for emergency department arrivals and can be implemented as a decision support system to aid staff when scheduling and adjusting emergency department arrivals.

Usage Notes

Location

Des Moines
Iowa
USA