Tactical planning in hospitals involves elective patient admission planning and the allocation of hospital resource capacities. We propose a method to develop a tactical resource allocation and patient admission plan that takes stochastic elements into consideration, thereby providing robust plans. Our method is developed in an Approximate Dynamic Programming (ADP) framework and copes with multiple resources, multiple time periods and multiple patient groups with uncertain treatment paths and an uncertain number of arrivals in each time period. As such, the method enables integrated decision making for a network of hospital departments and resources. Computational results indicate that the ADP approach provides an accurate approximation of the value functions, and that it is suitable for large problem instances at hospitals, in which the ADP approach performs significantly better than two other heuristic approaches. Our ADP algorithm is generic, as various cost functions and basis functions can be used in various hospital settings.
- Resource capacity planning
- Patient admission planning
- Health Care
- Approximate Dynamic Programming (ADP)
- Tactical planning