Managing urgent care in hospitals

Public thesis defenSe of Nardo Borgman


23 June 2017




University of Twente, Waaier 4 (Prof.dr. G. Berkhoff room)

There is tremendous pressure on healthcare organizations to deliver care, while demand for care increases both quantitatively and qualitatively, and healthcare costs increase. This requires hospitals to design and manage care processes more efficiently, while at least maintaining the current quality of care.

One of the challenges in hospitals is to take into account the many uncertainties that arise during the delivery of care. This is especially prevalent when providing care for non-elective patients who require treatment with some urgency. As urgency increases, the stakes involved increase for both patients and healthcare providers. Clearly, there is less margin for error when managing non-elective care, as consequences of tardy treatment may be serious. The question then is how to efficiently organize healthcare processes that are able to properly adapt to the specific needs and characteristics of non-elective patient demand.

In order to accommodate the uncertainty inherent to non-elective care, an increased flexibility in resources' planning and control is required. This thesis focuses on designing care processes and developing planning and control approaches that take into account non-elective patients in addition to elective patients. These planning approaches are developed with techniques from Operations Research and Management Science.