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An integrated framework for operating room capacity planning and scheduling
Authors: B.AlmadaLobo
J.L.Borges (DEIG / IDMEC)
The aging population and the constant increase in health care costs are demanding improved rationalization of available resources. In a typical hospital, the operating room (OR) is a bottleneck and consumes an important percentage of the annual budget.
The problem of OR capacity planning and scheduling is focused on optimizing resource allocation in an efficient way and on scheduling the surgeries in a way that optimizes quality of service to the patients and the performance and satisfaction of hospital staff (doctors, nurses and auxiliary staff). Due to a set of competing objectives, the large number of decision variables and the stochastic nature of the problem (e.g. the estimation of surgery duration), it can be defined as a complex multi-objective and stochastic problem.
Although it is an active research field most approaches focus enhancing specific optimization methods for focused sub-problems. Our approach to the problem relies on the integration of a data mining and an optimization model into a simulation framework in order to help guide the analyst to the optimal system configuration. A software prototype will be built to test the effectiveness of the approach.     
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