Health Care Management Science

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 56–73 | Cite as

An open source software project for obstetrical procedure scheduling and occupancy analysis

  • Mark W. Isken
  • Timothy J. Ward
  • Steven J. Littig


Increases in the rate of births via cesarean section and induced labor have led to challenging scheduling and capacity planning problems for hospital inpatient obstetrical units. We present occupancy and patient scheduling models to help address these challenges. These patient flow models can be used to explore the relationship between procedure scheduling practices and the resulting occupancy on inpatient obstetrical units such as labor and delivery and postpartum. The models capture numerous important characteristics of inpatient obstetrical patient flow such as time of day and day of week dependent arrivals and length of stay, multiple patient types and clinical interventions, and multiple patient care units with inter-unit patient transfers. We have used these models in several projects at different hospitals involving design of procedure scheduling templates and analysis of inpatient obstetrical capacity. In the development of these models, we made heavy use of open source software tools and have released the entire project as a free and open source model and software toolkit.


Patient flow Scheduling Obstetrics Open source software 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark W. Isken
    • 1
  • Timothy J. Ward
    • 2
  • Steven J. Littig
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Business AdministrationOakland UniversityRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Bureau of Medicine and SurgeryUnited States NavyWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Improvement Path Systems, Inc.Farmington HillsUSA

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