11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Teaching OR to Health Care Professionals
In this talk, I will share my experience developing and teaching an operations research course for health care decision makers and professionals over the past decade. I have offered this highly rated course under the heading “Managing Patient Flow” but a more apt name might be “Managing Supply and Demand”. Its goals are to provide a basic problem-solving framework and hands on experience
with a set of OR tools. Moreover it communicates the importance and value of developing an OR capacity within a health care organization.
All material draws on projects my colleagues and I have carried out in a wide cross-section of health care settings. These are communicated to the course participants in the form of cases, discussion
problems, published research and an interactive game. The main themes are:
• The need for performance metrics and the challenges in evaluating them.
• The basic levers managers can use to improve access to services.
• The integrated nature of health care systems and the limits of local optimization.
• The limitations of lean approaches and the need for operations research methods.
The material draws from case studies and research on porter systems improvement, diagnostic imaging scheduling, reducing wait times for cancer care, reducing surgical cancellations, long term care
capacity planning, workforce management and lean evaluation. OR tools emphasized include optimization, queuing and simulation. Excel add-ons and spreadsheets provide hands on experience. In addition to describing my approach to teaching OR, it will provide an overview of my health care research.
http://orincancercare.org/puterman/emba512 provides a course outline and links to a range of materials.
See also http://asg.sauder.ubc.ca/ for access to our appointment scheduling game.