Applications of Hospital Bed Optimization

A J (Thomas) Schneider*, Maartje van de Vrugt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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In this chapter we show typical bed capacity management decisions and how these can be supported using operations research (OR) models. During hospitalization, patients spend most of their time in a bed, situated at a ward. These wards, which include staff, beds, and equipment, are one of the most expensive resources of hospitals. Often patients who stay at a ward receive one or multiple treatments, which usually take place at different departments. Many wards still struggle to accommodate all incoming patients. Without aligned schedules, the flow of patients will fluctuate significantly, and therefore beds at wards will congest. As a result of this “disorganization,” staff will experience an unbalanced workload, and wards require more (buffer) capacity to accommodate all patients. With operations research techniques, planning and scheduling of both patient admissions and staff presence at wards can be optimized aiming to reduce variation in the bed occupancy. We also show three case studies using OR in bed management decision-making and discuss success and pitfalls.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Healthcare Logistics
Subtitle of host publicationBridging the Gap between Theory and Practice
EditorsMaartje E. Zonderland, Richard J. Boucherie, Erwin W. Hans, Nikky Kortbeek
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages38
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-60212-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-60211-6
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2021

Publication series

NameInternational Series in Operations Research & Management Science
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
ISSN (Print)0884-8289


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