A model for generating master surgical schedules to allow cyclic scheduling in operating room departments

J.M. van Oostrum, M. van Houdenhoven, Johann L. Hurink, Elias W. Hans, Gerhard Wullink, G. Kazemier

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This paper addresses the problem of operating room scheduling at the tactical level of hospital planning and control. Hospitals repetitively construct operating room schedules, which is a time consuming tedious and complex task. The stochasticity of the durations of surgical procedures complicates the construction of operating room schedules. In addition, unbalanced scheduling of the operating room department often causes demand fluctuation at succeeding departments such as wards and the intensive care units. We propose cyclic operating room schedules, so-called Master Surgical Schedules to deal with this problem. In such a Master Surgical Schedule, frequently performed elective surgical procedure types are planned in a cyclic manner. To deal with the uncertain duration of procedures we use planned slack. The problem of constructing Master Surgical Schedules is modeled as a Mathematical Program containing probabilistic constraints. Since the resulting Mathematical Program is computationally intractable we propose a column generation approach that maximizes the operation room utilization and levels the requirements for subsequent hospital beds such as wards and intensive care units in two subsequent phases. We tested the solution approach with data from the Erasmus Medical Center. Computational experiments show that the proposed solution approach works well for both the operating room utilization and the leveling of requirements of subsequent hospital beds.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherDiscrete Wiskunde, Operations Res. en Statistiek
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Publication series

NameMemorandum Afdeling TW
PublisherDepartment of Applied Mathematics, University of Twente
ISSN (Print)0169-2690


  • MSC-90B35


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