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Multi-period appointment planning and scheduling in healthcare.

Bilgiç, Utku Tarık
Appointment planning and scheduling (APS) plays a crucial role in patient service quality as well as utilization of valuable resources in healthcare. In this study, we considered the integrated problem of appointment planning and scheduling in an outpatient procedure center (OPC) over a planning horizon of multiple periods. We formulated the problem as a two-stage stochastic mixed-integer linear program (SMILP) with uncertainty in surgery durations. The first-stage problem consists of period assignment of surgeries, sequencing of surgeries in each period and appointment time for each surgery. In the second stage, surgery durations are realized and cost of patient waiting and idle time and overtime of operating room (OR) are calculated accordingly. We used symmetry breaking constraints in order to achieve computational efficiency and considered solution methods such as L-Shaped method, L Shaped based branch-and-cut method and Benders’ decomposition. We also considered several heuristic methods including simple sequencing rules, hierarchical planning, and genetic algorithm. We tested the performance of the proposed solution methods and estimated the value of the stochastic solution, the expected value of perfect information and the value of integrated planning by conducting extensive numerical experiments.