Modeling and analysis of short-term work planning in inpatient care settings

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Aragon, Lucy G.
Cure Vellojin, Laila N.
Tiong, Ewing
Bush, Rita

Aragon, Lucy G.; Cure Vellojin, Laila N.; Tiong, Ewing; Bush, Rita. 2018. Modeling and analysis of short-term work planning in inpatient care settings. Operations Research for Health Care, vol. 19:pp 14-25


This paper uses operations research (OR) to investigate inpatient care work planning decisions from the perspective of a single healthcare provider in a hospital unit. While there has been considerable research on the modeling and analysis of healthcare delivery systems to support medium- to long-term decisions (e.g., daily operating room scheduling, weekly nurse scheduling), there is little research focusing on decisions made at the operational level by front-line providers. At this stage, resources have been allocated, personnel have been scheduled, and a set of patients with specific demands needs to be cared for in a safe, effective, efficient, timely, patient-centered, and equitable manner. It is often the responsibility of the actual providers to plan, execute, and adjust their workflow based on their knowledge and experience. This paper describes short-term work planning decisions made by front-line healthcare workers and illustrates how OR can support the analysis of such decisions. Research questions that motivate the use of OR in the design and analysis of inpatient care work are discussed.

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