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A systems approach for resources management during the COVID-19 pandemic: Multi-agency perspectives from New England

Jeffrey C. Cegan, Benjamin D. Trump, S. E. Galaitsi, Matthew D. Joyner, PhD, Kaitlin M. Volk, Melissa A. Surette, Jonathan P. Garrett, Susan M. Cibulsky, Gary Kleinman, W. Russell Webster, Igor Linkov


The emergence of COVID-19 in the United States has overwhelmed local hospitals, produced shortages in critical protective supplies for medical staff, and created backlogs in burials and cremations. Because systemic disruptions occur most acutely at a local scale, facilitating resource coordination across a broad region can assist local responses to COVID-19 surges. This article describes a structured systems approach for coordinating COVID-19 resource distribution across the six New England states of the United States. The framework combines modeling tools to anticipate resource shortages in medical supplies, personnel needs, and fatality management for individual states. The approach allows decision makers to understand the magnitude of local outbreaks and equitably allocate resources within a region based on the present and future needs. This model contributed to determining material distribution in New England as the 2020 COVID-19 surges unfolded in the spring and fall seasons. Using a systems analysis, the model demonstrates the translation of anticipated COVID-19 cases into resource demands to enable regional coordination of scarce resources.


COVID-19, systems modeling, resource distribution

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