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Developing a multi-methodological approach to hospital operating theatre scheduling

Developing a multi-methodological approach to hospital operating theatre scheduling
Developing a multi-methodological approach to hospital operating theatre scheduling
Operating theatres and surgeons are among the most expensive resources in any hospital, so it is vital that they are used efficiently. Due to the complexity of the challenges involved in theatre scheduling we split the problem into levels and address the tactical and day-to-day scheduling problems.

Cognitive mapping is used to identify the important factors to consider in theatre scheduling and their interactions. This allows development and testing of our understanding with hospital staff, ensuring that the aspects of theatre scheduling they consider important are included in the quantitative modelling.

At the tactical level, our model assists hospitals in creating new theatre timetables, which take account of reducing the maximum number of beds required, surgeons’ preferences, surgeons’ availability, variations in types of theatre and their suitability for different types of surgery, limited equipment availability and varying the length of the cycle over which the timetable is repeated. The weightings given to each of these factors can be varied allowing exploration of possible timetables.

At the day-to-day scheduling level we focus on the advanced booking of individual patients for surgery. Using simulation a range of algorithms for booking patients are explored, with the algorithms derived from a mixture of scheduling literature and ideas from hospital staff. The most significant result is that more efficient schedules can be achieved by delaying scheduling as close to the time of surgery as possible, however, this must be balanced with the need to give patients adequate warning to make arrangements to attend hospital for their surgery.

The different stages of this project present different challenges and constraints, therefore requiring different methodologies. As a whole this thesis demonstrates that a range of methodologies can be applied to different stages of a problem to develop better solutions.
Penn, Marion Louise
44e30bd0-fd1a-41b9-b7ed-4a46c656ef8a
Penn, Marion Louise
44e30bd0-fd1a-41b9-b7ed-4a46c656ef8a
Potts, Christopher
58c36fe5-3bcb-4320-a018-509844d4ccff

Penn, Marion Louise (2014) Developing a multi-methodological approach to hospital operating theatre scheduling. University of Southampton, Mathematics, Doctoral Thesis, 262pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Operating theatres and surgeons are among the most expensive resources in any hospital, so it is vital that they are used efficiently. Due to the complexity of the challenges involved in theatre scheduling we split the problem into levels and address the tactical and day-to-day scheduling problems.

Cognitive mapping is used to identify the important factors to consider in theatre scheduling and their interactions. This allows development and testing of our understanding with hospital staff, ensuring that the aspects of theatre scheduling they consider important are included in the quantitative modelling.

At the tactical level, our model assists hospitals in creating new theatre timetables, which take account of reducing the maximum number of beds required, surgeons’ preferences, surgeons’ availability, variations in types of theatre and their suitability for different types of surgery, limited equipment availability and varying the length of the cycle over which the timetable is repeated. The weightings given to each of these factors can be varied allowing exploration of possible timetables.

At the day-to-day scheduling level we focus on the advanced booking of individual patients for surgery. Using simulation a range of algorithms for booking patients are explored, with the algorithms derived from a mixture of scheduling literature and ideas from hospital staff. The most significant result is that more efficient schedules can be achieved by delaying scheduling as close to the time of surgery as possible, however, this must be balanced with the need to give patients adequate warning to make arrangements to attend hospital for their surgery.

The different stages of this project present different challenges and constraints, therefore requiring different methodologies. As a whole this thesis demonstrates that a range of methodologies can be applied to different stages of a problem to develop better solutions.

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More information

Published date: March 2014
Organisations: University of Southampton, Operational Research

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 366470
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/366470
PURE UUID: 1da08de2-589d-4180-aca6-f32daf66569b
ORCID for Marion Louise Penn: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7269-7981

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 15 Oct 2014 11:15
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:44

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