Using Operations Research to improve hospital efficiencies

There is a great article that promotes the use of Operations Research in hospitals that was printed in the Boston Globe this week.  (Actually, it promotes Operations Management rather than O.R.)  Eugene Litvak of Boston University  has worked with Cincinnati Children’s hospital to improve “patient flow” resulting in a far better utilization of their resources.  Litvak’s improvement was comparable to an increase in 100 hospital beds, which in turn was comparable to a savings of $100 million per year.  The hospital was initially resistant to change, as are most hospitals.  But they are very pleased with the results.

Anyone who has experienced a hospital knows that there are often long waits both by patients and staff.   It is an environment that could use lots of O.R. help.  Dr. Michael Long, one of Litvak’s collaborators, put it well.

In some respects, Eugene [a Russian immigrant] was right at home [in dealing with U.S. hospitals].  It reminded him of the way things are done in Russia.

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One Response to “Using Operations Research to improve hospital efficiencies”

  1. Geoffrey De Smet Says:

    Do they actually let a computer make automated planning or did they just improve the resources flow?

    One of my Drools Solver examples tackles automated planning of hospital beds:
    http://blog.athico.com/2009/08/assigning-hospital-beds-to-patients.html

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