International Journal of Information Technology & Decision Making vol:10 issue:3 pages:435-450
In this paper, we test the applicability of a decision support system (DSS) that is developed to optimize the sequence of surgeries in the day-care center of the UZ Leuven Campus Gasthuisberg (Belgium). We introduce a multi-objective function in which children and prioritized patients are scheduled as early as possible on the day of surgery, recovery overtime is minimized and recovery workload is leveled throughout the day. This combinatorial optimization problem is solved by applying a pre-processed mixed integer linear programming model. We report on a 10-day case study to illustrate the performance of the DSS. In particular, we compare the schedules provided by the hospital with those that are suggested by the DSS. The results indicate that the DSS leads to both an increased probability of obtaining feasible schedules and an improved quality of the schedules in terms of the objective function value. We further highlight some of the major advantages of the application, such as its visualization and algorithmic performance, but also report on the difficulties that were encountered during the study and the shortcomings that currently delay its implementation in practice, as this information may contribute to the success rate of future software applications in hospitals.