Invited Presentation

David D. YAO

Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research,
Columbia University, U.S.A.

Panel Discussion: Healthcare Operations Management  -- Challenges and Opportunities


Healthcare delivery is a broad field that Operations Research/Operations Management should lead and own. Focusing on hospital resource planning and management, this part of the panel discussion aims to highlight some of the challenges and opportunities for OR/OM technologies such as hierarchical planning, revenue management, supply chain optimization, and data analytics.

Shane G. Henderson

Shane Henderson

Professor, School of Operations Research and Information Engineering,
Cornell University, U.S.A.

Ambulance Service Design


An ambulance service dispatches ambulances to calls for assistance, provides limited treatment at the scene of the call and transports patients to a hospital. I will describe a number of questions in designing such systems from a practical perspective, including

  • What utilization should one expect or require of ambulances while still ensuring short response times?
  • How should one select base and/or post locations?
  • Should the fleet be all-advanced-life support (ALS) vehicles, or a mix of ALS and basic life support?
  • What is system-status management, and when might it help with response-time targets?
Martin L. Puterman
Martin Puterman

Advisory Board Professor of Operations,
The University of British Columbia, Canada

Using Operations Research to Improve Access to Cancer Treatment


This presentation will highlight applied research done by the Operations Research Team at the BCCA. Two principles underlying this research are that optimization models combined with effective data management and processing can produce enhanced patient and staff schedules, and that simulation models can be used to investigate the tradeoffs between wait times and over time in the presence of high and growing demand and limited capacity. These principles will be illustrated through a discussion of two significant projects. The first is the development, implementation and evaluation of Chemo Smartbook, an integer programming based chemotherapy appointment scheduling system that is now in use at four regional BCCA centers. The second is a current project that uses simulation and demographic analysis to investigate the combined impact of scheduling rules and oncologist capacity on wait times for new patient consults. A key facet of this research is a study of the downstream appointment patterns (workload) associated with new patient consults. The talk will conclude with a brief description of other projects including strategic system configuration and short and long term radiation therapy staff scheduling.

Xie Xiaolan
Xiaolan XIE

Distinguished Professor & Head, Department of Healthcare Engineering, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines, France

Chair Professor, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

Mathematical modeling of healthcare engineering problems by examples


In this talk, I will show how mathematical modeling helps solving decision-making problems in healthcare delivery though some examples from French and Chinese hospitals. In particular, we will first present how to solve the dilemma of surgeon waiting and OR idle time/overtime with stochastic programming. The second example is the reduction by 20% of the peak capacity requirement of an outpatient chemotherapy unit to solve the bed crisis generated by wild variation of bed capacity requirement. A combination of Monte Carlo optimization, linear programming and Lagrangian relaxation is used to solve multi-layer decision-making problems including medical planning, patient assignment and appointment scheduling. The third example show how a contract-based MRI reservation strategy combined with Markov Decision Process reduces the MRI exam reservation delay of stroke patients from 30-40 days to 2-10 days. The last example shows how to determine the human resource capacity of a home healthcare structure in order to meet home healthcare requirements from a given territory under some service level constraints. A combination of Monte Carlo optimization and vehicle routing techniques is used by taking into account resources requirement of different pathologies, epidemiological and geographical distribution of home healthcare patients and various sources of uncertainties with regard to the home healthcare demands.

Kwok L. TSUI
Kwok L. TSUI

Chair Professor & Head, Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management,
City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Recent Research in Healthcare and Public Health Modeling


In this talk we will discuss our recent research projects in healthcare and public health modeling, including healthcare and infectious disease surveillance, disease spread simulation, emergency department flow modeling and improvement, MRSA survival modeling, home health care and healthcare policy, etc.

Susanna KO

General Manager of Administrative Services,
Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Kowloon Central Cluster, Hospital Authority

Operational Process Improvement

Strategy for Enhancing Hospital Services
Resource is always limited. The saying goes: "It is not how much you spend; it is how you spend it.” Since hospital is for patients, resources, whether directly or indirectly, should be used to improve our services for patients, or add value for them, for instances, less wait time for patient transfers, faster turnaround time for medical supplies or laboratory tests, fewer errors in inventory, less time in gathering equipment and consumables. It is therefore utmost important to reserve our resources for the necessary changes that will bring about the service level we want.
LEAN Management Approach
This presentation talks about various delivery models of support services to illustrate how LEAN management can improve hospital services. Apart from adopting three key steps in decision making process (i.e. visualize the problems, evidenced based discussion and work solutions together, success of the changes also relied very much on leadership, organization culture and level of synergy.