Graduate Paper Winner: A Stochastic Dynamic Program for the Single-day Surgery Scheduling Problem

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Session
Student Competition Winning Paper Presentations - Graduate Paper

Authors
William Herring
University of Maryland - College Park

Description
The scheduling of individual surgical patients has received extensive treatment in the literature, but this paper is the first to propose a model that simultaneously captures the roles of block schedules, block release dates, and request queue policies in the dynamic evolution of the schedule for a single day in an operating room suite. The model is formulated as a stochastic dynamic program and theoretical results are obtained for a single room version. These results demonstrate that optimal request queue decisions for a single room follow a threshold policy that preserves a desired amount of operating room space for the remaining demand from the room's allocated surgical specialty. An algorithm for determining the optimal thresholds is presented, followed by computational results.

Abstract
The scheduling of individual surgical patients has received extensive treatment in the literature, but this paper is the first to propose a model that simultaneously captures the roles of block schedules, block release dates, and request queue policies in the dynamic evolution of the schedule for a single day in an operating room suite. The model is formulated as a stochastic dynamic program and theoretical results are obtained for a single room version. These results demonstrate that optimal request queue decisions for a single room follow a threshold policy that preserves a desired amount of operating room space for the remaining demand from the rooms allocated surgical specialty. An algorithm for determining the optimal thresholds is presented, followed by computational results.




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