The operating room (OR) department of a hospital forms the heart of the organization, where the single largest cost is incurred. This document presents and reports on the “Operating Room Manager Game,” developed to give insight into managing a large hospital's OR department at various levels of control, and the difficulties of applying OR/MS techniques in healthcare.
The players take on the role of management teams of the OR department, and in subsequent rounds follow the actual planning and scheduling process-starting with strategic choices on capacities for an upcoming year, and ending with daily, online planning of actual surgeries in each operating room. The game ends with each team also benchmarking and evaluating the strategies of all players.
The game is motivated by the actual setting of a large academic hospital in the Netherlands, which also provided real-life data. It is currently used as part of the lecture on “Optimization of Healthcare Processes” in the Industrial Engineering & Management master's program at the University of Twente. It integrates students' foreknowledge regarding various OR/MS subjects, applied in a healthcare setting.