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Physician scheduling in hospitals. From theory to practice using decision support tools

Speaker: Professor Jens O. Brunner, University of Augsburg, Germany

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Abstract: In order to cope with steadily increasing healthcare costs, hospitals try to schedule their staff (e.g. physicians, nurses, logistics assistants, etc.) efficiently and effectively. We consider practical and theoretical physician scheduling problems at large teaching hospitals in Germany. In particular, we model the problem of duty-and workstation assignments and show appropriate methodologies to find solutions. The problems are constraint by union contracts as well as individual agreements between the hospital and the employees. To promote for job satisfaction, we take into account fairness and preference considerations. Regarding the practical side of physician scheduling, we present the status of the software development which is in use since 2015. Finally, we discuss lessons learned from the project and highlight some barriers when it comes to real implementation of decision support systems in practice.

Bio: Jens Brunner has been permanently appointed as Professor of Health Care Operations & Health Information Management at the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Augsburg (Germany) in March 2013.Since July 2016 he is co-director of the University Centerfor Health Care at KlinikumAugsburg (UNIKA-T). He received a PhD from the TUM School of Management in 2009 and a diploma degree in Business Administration from the University of Mannheim in 2006. His research interests centeron design and analysis of service systems using quantitative methods, a special focus is on processes in health care. He is Associate Editor for Operations Research for Health Care and has published in IIE Transaction, Health Care Management Science and European Journal of Operational Research.