Kaiser Permanente

Faculty research helps develop more efficient operating room block schedules at the Oakland hospital

Professor Candace Yano and colleagues created an optimization model using Kaiser Permanente data to help hospital administrators develop more efficient operating room block schedules in an HMO setting which was implemented at Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland Medical Center.

The model considers prospective bed occupancy in downstream wards, with penalties for schedules that would lead to assigning surgical patients to non-preferred wards due to insufficient space in preferred wards, costs associated with the nursing staff required to handle the resulting patient admissions and patient census patterns, and a wide variety of practical constraints including surgeon availability, availability of ORs needed for specific procedures, and smoothing of blocks for each surgical specialty across the days of the week or weeks within a month.