UTTechMedCHOIRResearch & Development

Research & Development

The research agenda of CHOIR is almost exclusively driven by the healthcare sector. Our PhD candidates are in residence at healthcare organizations, which enables us to be in close contact with problem owners, and helps us identify challenging research topics. In particular, we target problems that are experienced by various care providers at the same time, and problems which encompass the entire patient care path rather than single resource / department problems.

In close collaboration with the healthcare sector, we take on their complex logistical challenges regarding the efficient and effective orgnization of healthcare delivery processes. We use a scientific approach to design and / or optimize the planning and control of processes, and take into account each stakeholder’s perspective. We believe that optimizing healthcare operations for all the stakeholders involved is an essential condition for successful implementation. This not only involves optimizing the efficiency of processes, but also the quality of care and quality of labor. Typical problems we solve are related to waiting time, access time, cancellations, workload pressure, overtime, utilization, combination appointments (one-stop-shop), inventory costs, and transportation distance.

Below we highlight some current and recent projects. Follow the links in the left-sided menu for an overview of our publications, phd theses, and our online bibliography ORchestra.

COVID-19 logistical challenges

We have made a great effort to support healthcare providers in their complex logistical challenges during COVID. We have developed models for the forecasting of ICU and COVID-ward occupations and for the fair regional distribution of COVID-patients. For more info go to this page. We've also developed a model for the "1.5 meter outpatient clinic", which optimizes patient flows and appointment schedules to organize the outpatient clinic in such a way that patients minimally meet each other. For more info go to this page.

For more info, go to this project's page.

Integral capacity planning

CHOIR has a long history of research on integral capacity planning and integral capacity management. This research focuses on patient flow optimization by breaking through the siloed system, by improved patient flow forecasting, and optimized (tactical) capacity allocation. Through CHOIR's spinoff Rhythm BV these concepts are being widely implemented in Dutch hospitals. We are developing these concepts further, in close collaboration with Rhythm and several Dutch hospitals.

For more info, go to this project's page.

Public access defribillators and cardiac arrest

We develop a comprehensive data-driven modeling framework for deploying automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to be use in a citizen response system, leveraging optimization, metaheuristics and data science. Our models analyze the spatiotemporal trends in demand (out-of-hospital cardiac arrests) and supply (citizen volunteers), estimate citizen volunteer response rates by applying machine learning techniques to historical data, and optimize locations of emergency facilities under both demand and supply uncertainty. Next to that, we aim to provide methods to assess cost-effectiveness of deploying additional AEDs.

In this research we collaborate with researchers from Amsterdam UMC, who provide a great expertise regarding cardiac arrests and AEDs.

For more info, go to this project's page.

Transformation of care with technology

Technology can assist the healthcare sector in becoming more efficient and effective. However, many technological innovations are unsuccessfully implemented. In this new research line we collaborate with various other disciplines to identify and overcome the barriers that healthcare providers have to overcome to successfully transform.

For more info, go to this project's page.

Residential care

Residential care services support daily living activities with medical and nursing services if required. Examples include nursing homes and psychiatric hospitals. We currently collaborate with TWB (Thuiszorg West-Brabant) in a research project focusing on capacity management in home care services.

For more info, go to this project's page.

Blood services

In collaboration with the Sanquin blood services we work on the optimized blood supply chain, and optimized allocation of blood.

For more info, go to this project's page.

Multi-appointment scheduling

For more info, go to this project's page.

Operating room planning and scheduling

We have a long history of operating room planning and scheduling research. As an example we refer to the online Operating Room Analyzer, which is a decision support tool for analyzing strategies for dealing with emergencies in the operating room department.

For more info, go to this project's page.

Laboratory logistics

In collaboration with the Erasmus MC, Amsterdam UMC and Roche Diagnostics, process optimization in clinical chemistry laboratories is researched. The focus of this project is to assess the operations from arrival of the sample in the laboratory to first results. Different laboratory configurations are investigated in order to reduce diagnostics turnaround time and improve the laboratory performance.

For more info, go to this project's page.

Logistics optimization of radiotherapy

Advanced Logistics Optimization of the Radiotherapy Treatment (ALORT) project focuses on efficient coordination of RT operations, personnel, and equipment to ensure patient-centered care and to minimize waiting times in the start of treatment, meeting the quality standards defined by the Dutch Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (NVRO). Our partners are Netherlands Cancer Institute, KWF Dutch Cancer Society, as well as various RT centers.

Process improvement in South African hospitals

This research aims to investigate what constitutes problematic waiting times, the causes of these waiting times, and possible interventions to be designed to reduce these waiting times in a private hospital in South Africa.