Algorithmic matching of personal protective equipment donations with healthcare facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic

Ram Bala, Charlotte Lee, Benjamin Pallant, Maahika Srinivasan, Daniel Lurie, Rohit Jacob, Neeraj Bhagchandani, Megan Ranney, Shuhan He*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

GetUsPPE.org has built a centralized platform to facilitate matches for PPE donations, with an active role in matching donors with the appropriate recipients. A manual match process was limited by volunteer hours, thus we developed an open-access matching algorithm using a linear programming-based transportation model. From April 14, 2020 to April 27, 2020, the algorithm was used to match 83,136 items of PPE to 135 healthcare facilities in need across the United States with a median of 214.3 miles traveled, 100% of available donations matched, met the full quantity of requested PPE for 67% of recipients matched, and with 46% matches under 30 miles traveled. Compared with the period April 1, 2020 to April 13, 2020, when PPE matching was manual, the algorithm resulted in a 280% increase in matches/day. This publicly available automated algorithm could be deployed in future situations when the healthcare supply chain is insufficient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13
Journalnpj Digital Medicine
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management
  • Computer Science Applications

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