Prioritising Surgical Cases Deferred by the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Ethics-inspired Algorithmic Framework for Health Leaders


Elective surgical suspension during the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a sizable surgical case backlog throughout the world. A potential second wave of COVID-19 (or a future pandemic) may lead to another round of surgical shutdown and subsequent reopening. As many centers resumed surgical cases, deciding which cases to prioritize in the face of limited health system capacity emerged as a new challenge for health care leaders. Here we present an ethically grounded and operationally efficient surgical prioritization framework for health care leaders and practitioners, drawing insights from decision analysis and organizational sciences.

BMJ Leader

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