Driven by public opinion, increased health expenditures, an ageing population, and long waiting lists, a flood of changes in the healthcare system has been set in motion to try to make the Dutch hospitals more efficient. Supported by more advanced ICT (e.g. the introduction of electronic patient records) and a new financial system (the introduction of diagnose related groups), the majority of the hospitals is reconsidering the organization of the internal processes. The challenge for hospital management is to redesign the internal layout and control in such a way that both the interests of the patient and of the hospital are addressed. This implies a wide variety of complex strategic decisions that contribute to the simultaneous optimization of quality of care, costs and patient lead-time.
In this research, we will investigate how the capacity planning and control in a multidisciplinary care pathway should be organized, such that timely treatment for all patients can be ensured while an efficient care pathway is maintained. In order to do this, we will address and integrate decision-making on the strategic, tactical and operational levels, using queueing theory, scheduling methods, Markov decision theory and computer simulation. We will carry out projects in a.o. radiotherapy care (case study in Academic Medical Center Amsterdam) and rehabilitation care (case study in Sint Maartenskliniek Nijmegen).