Adaptive operating room (OR) scheduling and control of cardiac surgeries

Operating room scheduling is one of the most important issues at Foothills Medical Centre (FMC), on which the hospital budget and the efficiency of OR management rely. OR scheduling is difficult in practice and theory because there are many constraints and disturbances. However, cardiac surgeries have special characteristics. Compared with other types of surgeries, cardiac surgeries usually have more complicated procedures, accordingly resulting longer case times and greater variances, increased interdependency of patients with surgeons, and increased dependency of surgeries on OR staff and anesthetists. These special characteristics make OR scheduling of cardiac surgeries sensitive to disturbances. Thus the general OR scheduling and planning at the hospital is inefficient for cardiac surgeries. Therefore, in our extension Mitacs-Accelerate project, we focus on cardiac surgeries. We need to tailor our former FFPD heuristic for general adaptive OR scheduling and control, by taking into consideration of variances of case times and dependencies of cardiac surgeries. We also need to identify critical factors affecting the OR performance of cardiac surgeries, i.e. dependencies of OR utilization on patients, surgeons, OR staff, and the duration of OR blocks allocated to cardiac surgeries in the scheduling phase, which can be a guideline for OR scheduling and planning at the hospital level. 

Wei Li
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Barrie R. Nault