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A Bibliometric Analysis and Visualization of Decision Support Systems for Healthcare Referral Strategies

journal contribution
submitted on 2024-03-31, 06:45 and posted on 2024-03-31, 06:46 authored by Hesham Ali Behary Aboelkhir, Adel Elomri, Tarek Y. ElMekkawy, Laoucine Kerbache, Mohamed S. Elakkad, Abdulla Al-Ansari, Omar M. Aboumarzouk, Abdelfatteh El Omri

Background: The referral process is an important research focus because of the potential consequences of delays, especially for patients with serious medical conditions that need immediate care, such as those with metastatic cancer. Thus, a systematic literature review of recent and influential manuscripts is critical to understanding the current methods and future directions in order to improve the referral process. Methods: A hybrid bibliometric-structured review was conducted using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Searches were conducted of three databases, Web of Science, Scopus, and PubMed, in addition to the references from the eligible papers. The papers were considered to be eligible if they were relevant English articles or reviews that were published from January 2010 to June 2021. The searches were conducted using three groups of keywords, and bibliometric analysis was performed, followed by content analysis. Results: A total of 163 papers that were published in impactful journals between January 2010 and June 2021 were selected. These papers were then reviewed, analyzed, and categorized as follows: descriptive analysis (n = 77), cause and effect (n = 12), interventions (n = 50), and quality management (n = 24). Six future research directions were identified. Conclusions: Minimal attention was given to the study of the primary referral of blood cancer cases versus those with solid cancer types, which is a gap that future studies should address. More research is needed in order to optimize the referral process, specifically for suspected hematological cancer patients.

Other Information

Published in: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
See article on publisher's website:



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2022

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Science and Engineering - HBKU
  • Qatar University
  • College of Engineering - QU
  • Qatar University Health - QU
  • College of Medicine - QU HEALTH
  • Hamad Medical Corporation