Review of Business and Economic Literature vol:58 issue:2 pages:115-139
Hospitals are under growing pressure to cut costs, meanwhile sustaining the level of service provided to the patients. One part of the solution to this difficult task is to improve the efficiency of the operating rooms by using a sound patient scheduling framework. This can be done by identifying and applying good operations research methods from the healthcare literature. This literature review tries to help the reader to achieve this goal, firstly by pointing out relevant articles and, secondly by identifying and describing some of the major research groups in the field. Each research group is approaching the patient planning problem in a different way as, for example, some groups look at timing decisions such as finding an appropriate surgery date (e.g., Dec. 16) or time (e.g., 11:30) for a patient, whereas some include decisions regarding the surgery location, that is, determining an appropriate operating room. We found that seven major research groups are focusing on patient scheduling related problems and that their findings can be highly relevant to achieve a better and more efficiently used operating room. Reading about the research groups hopefully helps the reader, on the one hand, to get an overview over the patient planning literature and, on the other hand, to identify useful methods.