09h00 - 10h00
Stochastic Optimization for Scheduling in Healthcare Delivery Systems
Optimization of planning and scheduling decisions under uncertainty is important in many service industries to increase the utilization of resources, match workload to available capacity, and smooth the flow of customers through the system. It is particularly important for healthcare delivery where applications include scheduling of patients to outpatient clinics, design of operating room schedules, and allocation of resources within healthcare facilities. In this talk I will discuss stochastic optimization models for scheduling services in outpatient procedure centers and hospitals. I will discuss three related problems. The first involves setting individual procedure start times for a single operating room (OR) given uncertainty in the duration of procedures. The objective of this problem is to minimize a weighted sum of three competing criteria: patient and OR team waiting time, OR idle time, and overtime. The second problem involves the allocation of surgeries across multiple ORs with the goal of balancing the fixed cost of opening ORs with the expected cost of total overtime. The third problem involves setting optimal arrival times for patients to an outpatient procedure center comprising multiple activities including: intake processes, surgery, and recovery. For each problem I will describe the model, stochastic optimization methods that can be applied, and numerical results based on real data to illustrate the potential impact of the model. I will also discuss open questions and future research opportunities related to optimization of health care delivery systems.