Brailsford, Sally and Vissers, Jan
OR in healthcare: a European perspective
European Journal of Operational Research, 212, (3), . (doi:10.1016/j.ejor.2010.10.026).
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The European Working Group “Operational Research Applied to Health Services” (ORAHS) is one of the domain specific EURO Working Groups organized by EURO – the European Association of Operational Research Societies. In this paper we report on the development of ORAHS as a platform for OR in health, and analyse the papers presented at meetings over the 35 years of its existence. We propose a two-way framework for analysis, where one dimension is the nine stages of the product life cycle: identifying consumer requirements, designing a new service to meet these requirements, forecasting demand for such a service, securing resources for it, allocating these resources, developing Programs & Plans to use these resources for delivering the service, establishing criteria for service delivery, managing the performance of the service, and finally, evaluating its performance. The other dimension is a three-level classification into broad application areas referring to processes at different levels in healthcare: Patients & Providers, Units & Hospitals, and Regional & National. We use this framework to carry out a quantitative analysis of all the papers presented during the meetings of ORAHS since its inception in 1975. We then describe developments over this period in applying OR approaches and techniques to healthcare, and present an overview of the main application areas and challenges
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