Optimization of scheduling decisions for outpatient procedure centers
Brian Denton

Outpatient procedure centers (OPCs), are a fast growing trend for providing specialty healthcare procedures (surgical and non-surgical). Many procedures previously required resources only available in hospital settings; however, advances in medical care and technology have made it possible to provide these services through minimally (or non) invasive procedures that can be provided at low risk in OPCs. Management of OPCs involves many challenging decisions including how many procedure rooms to plan for a given day, how to allocate procedures to rooms, and how to control overtime cost. This talk will describe how stochastic optimization models can be used to make effective decisions that consider these competing criteria. We describe exact methods that find optimal schedules based on decomposition methods. We also discuss practical and easy-to-implement heuristics and an analysis of their worst-case and average case performance relative to optimal solutions. Finally, we present numerical results, based on a real OPC, to evaluate the performance of the exact and heuristic methods, and to draw managerial insights.

Brian Denton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering at University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, MI. He also holds an appointment in the Department of Urology at University of Michigan. Previously he has been an Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering at NC State University, a Senior Associate Consultant at Mayo Clinic, and a Senior Engineer at IBM. He is past president of the INFORMS Health Applications Section and he serves as Secretary on the INFORMS Board of Directors. His primary research interests are in optimization under uncertainty with applications to health care delivery and medical decision making. He completed his Ph.D. in Management Science at McMaster University, his M.Sc. in Physics at York University, and his B.Sc. in Chemistry and Physics at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.