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We have an optimisation model for sequence-dependent operating room scheduling in a surgery department. The optimisation model differs from previous surgery scheduling models in way that it includes the possibility to let the surgical pre-procedure of a surgical case overlap with the surgical procedure and post-procedure activities of another, ongoing case assigned to the same operating room.

In order to verify the correctness of the optimisation model, we conducted a computational experiment, where we created one-day schedules for a surgery department with three operating rooms. From the results of the experiment, we conclude that the idea of allowing overlapping surgical activities may lead to significantly improved surgery schedules, in terms of reduced overtime, compared to when no overlaps are allowed.

Compared to the situation where no overlaps are allowed (and three surgical teams are used), we obtained a minor improvement when allowing overlaps (still three surgical teams), and a significant improvement when also modelling an additional surgical team.

Research Results

One example of usage is to use an additional resource to reduce the overall operation lead time by 20 minutes (from 90 to 70 minutes ), which are similar results as if an additional operation room was provided.

Before optimisation:

After optimisation:

This result is only one example of how this optimisation service may schedule resources according to the optimised method. The model can also be used in simulations in order to be able to make the appropriate investments for the future.