Quality-driven Efficiency in Healthcare
During the upcoming decades, healthcare organizations face the challenge to deliver more patient care, of higher quality, and with less financial and human resources. The goal of this thesis is to help and guide healthcare professionals making their organizations future-proof. Building from Operations Research techniques, and focusing on the management of operations, the research presented in this thesis contributes to a better understanding and functioning of healthcare delivery. It supports decision makers in realizing the best possible use of available resources.
The dissertation intends to make healthcare professionals even more aware of the added value of taking an integral perspective on logistical decision making. The problems addressed emphasize the importance of integrality in terms of objectives and performance: healthcare must be safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable. While the traditional belief is that quality and efficiency always confront each other, various examples show that they often can, even must, go hand in hand. In addition, the research outcomes show the value of integrality in logistical decision making: performance is enhanced by aligning long-term, medium-term and short-term decision making and by realizing coordination and collaboration between the various care chain actors. By consistently addressing the notions of variability and flexibility along the way, this thesis aims to contribute the achievement of quality-driven efficiency in healthcare.