, Volume 178, Issue 1, pp 91-104,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 27 Aug 2009

Suitability and managerial implications of a Master Surgical Scheduling approach


Operating room (OR) planning and scheduling is a popular and challenging subject within the operational research applied to health services research (ORAHS). However, the impact in practice is very limited. The organization and culture of a hospital and the inherent characteristics of its processes impose specific implementation issues that affect the success of planning approaches. Current tactical OR planning approaches often fail to account for these issues. Master surgical scheduling (MSS) is a promising approach for hospitals to optimize resource utilization and patient flows. We discuss the pros and cons of MSS and compare MSS with centralized and decentralized planning approaches. Finally, we address various implementation issues of MSS and discuss its suitability for hospitals with different organizational foci and culture.