Efficient scheduling of emergency surgeries by adjusting the schedule of elective surgeries

Document Type : Article


1 Department of Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran

2 Department of Industrial Management and Information Technology, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

3 Faculty of Industrial Engineering, Golpayegan University of Technology, Golpayegan, Iran

4 Department of Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran


The rapid growth of the population has resulted in an increasing demand for healthcare services, which forces managers to use costly resources such as operating rooms effectively. The surgery-scheduling problem is a general title for problems that consists of the patient selection and sequencing of the surgeries at the operational level, setting their start times, and assigning the resources. Hospital managers usually encounter elective surgeries that can be delayed slightly and emergency surgeries whose arrivals are unexpected, and most of them need quick access to operating rooms. Reserving operating room capacity for handling incoming emergency surgeries is expensive. Moreover, emergency surgeries cannot afford long waiting times. This paper deals with the problem of surgery scheduling in the presence of emergency surgeries with a focus on balancing the efficient use of operating room capacity and responsiveness to emergency surgeries. We proposed a new algorithm for surgery scheduling with a specific operating room capacity planning and analyzed it through a simulation method based on real data. This algorithm respects working hours and availability of staff and other resources in a surgical suite.


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