Emergency operating room or not?

Nardo J. Borgman, Ingrid M.H. Vliegen, Erwin W. Hans*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

3 Citations (Scopus)
321 Downloads (Pure)


Hospital operating theaters often face the problem of unscheduled emergency
arrivals that should be treated as soon as possible. In practice different
policies are used to allocate these emergency patients to the operating rooms. These policies are (1) keeping operating rooms empty and available for emergency arrivals; (2) treating emergency patients in elective operating rooms, postponing elective patients; and (3) a mix of these two policies. The use of a specific policy affects performance (e.g., utilization, waiting times, overtime). Currently, these effects are not clear, and there is no agreement on what works ‘best’ for a specific hospital.
Using discrete-event simulation, we evaluate the policies for many case characteristics such as hospital size, patient case mix, and fraction of (emergency) patients.
We gathered the simulation results in a tool called OR analyzer. This tool is made
available online and allows healthcare practitioners to gain insight into the effects of the scheduling policies in settings similar to their specific hospital setting. In addition, this tool allows others researching emergency scheduling policies to frame their hospital settings and compare results.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Healthcare Logistics
Subtitle of host publicationBridging the Gap between Theory and Practice
Number of pages18
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
ISSN (Print)0884-8289
ISSN (Electronic)2214-7934


  • Operations management
  • Operations Research and Management Science (OR/MS)
  • Operations research
  • Healthcare planning


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