, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 355-372,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Decision support system for the operating room rescheduling problem

Abstract

Due to surgery duration variability and arrivals of emergency surgeries, the planned Operating Room (OR) schedule is disrupted throughout the day which may lead to a change in the start time of the elective surgeries. These changes may result in undesirable situations for patients, wards or other involved departments, and therefore, the OR schedule has to be adjusted. In this paper, we develop a decision support system (DSS) which assists the OR manager in this decision by providing the three best adjusted OR schedules. The system considers the preferences of all involved stakeholders and only evaluates the OR schedules that satisfy the imposed resource constraints. The decision rules used for this system are based on a thorough analysis of the OR rescheduling problem. We model this problem as an Integer Linear Program (ILP) which objective is to minimize the deviation from the preferences of the considered stakeholders. By applying this ILP to instances from practice, we determined that the given preferences mainly lead to (i) shifting a surgery and (ii) scheduling a break between two surgeries. By using these changes in the DSS, the performed simulation study shows that less surgeries are canceled and patients and wards are more satisfied, but also that the perceived workload of several departments increases to compensate this. The system can also be used to judge the acceptability of a proposed initial OR schedule.