The increasing interest in the domain of operating room planning and scheduling leads to a proliferation of problem types. The statement and the scope of the particular problems, however, are often unclear. In this paper, we report on a scheme to classify operating room planning and scheduling problems using multiple fields. Each field describes a specific set of characteristics of the particular problem by means of parameters, elements and optional further specifications. We also elaborate on the use of delimiters to separate the entries in the classification notation. Next to the formulation of the scheme, we examine its applicability on a range of problems that are encountered in recent literature. With the development of the classification scheme, we hope to structure and to clarify forthcoming research in this domain.
Levrau, Abigail; Van den Berghe, Lutgart (Palgrave, 2013)
This research investigates the impact of alternative allocation mechanisms that can be employed in the context of vaccine inventory rationing. Available vaccine inventory can be allocated to arrivals from high priority (target groups such as healthcare professionals) and low priority (non-target groups) demand classes using Partitioned Allocation (PA), Standard Nesting (SN), and Theft Nesting (TN). In any one of the mechanisms, a part of the available inventory is reserved for the exclusive use of the high priority demand class. They differ, however, in how the unreserved portion of the inventory is utilized: Under PA, demand from the high (low) priority class consumes only the reserved (unreserved) quantity. Under SN, demand from the high priority class first consumes the reserved quantity, once and if this quantity is exhausted, high priority demand competes with low priority demand for the remaining inventory. Under TN the sequence of allocation is reversed: both demand classes first compete for the unreserved inventory. Once this portion of inventory is exhausted, high priority demand is fulfilled from the reserved inventory and low priority demand is rejected. We develop service level (probability of fulfilling the entire demand) and fill rate (fraction of demand fulfilled) expressions for all three allocation mechanisms. Based on these expressions, numerical analyses are conducted to illustrate which allocation mechanism a health planner should choose depending on the availability of vaccines, and how the health planner should set the reserved quantity for the high priority class. We observe that (1) there exist certain conditions under which one of the allocation mechanisms outperforms the others and (2) this effect is determined by the decision maker’s choice of the performance measure.
Van den Berghe, Lutgart; Levrau, Abigail (Palgrave, 2013)
This study is a cost-analysis that calculates the impact of three interventions for patients identified as ‘at risk’ for Acute Coronary Syndrome - a cardio-vascular exercise programme, point-of-care digital diagnostics, and telemonitoring adherence tools. The methodology utilizes a model of the annualized costs of ACS for the entire treatment value chain, and measures the impact of the three interventions by the change in treatment cost, incremental net benefit, and QALY. The results demonstrate that the largest impact is measured when all three interventions are utilized simultaneously producing a cumulative savings of €4424 and 0.126 QALY per patient. We also find a significant decrease in Emergency Room visits by 15% and changes in rates of utilization of Catharization (?59%), Angioplasty (?59%), Bypass (?17%), Medication (?14%) and Rehabilitation (?13%).
Fassin, Yves; Levrau, Abigail; Van den Berghe, Lutgart (Cambridge University Press, 2012)
Internet adoption in China is booming and purchasing power is growing steadily. Increasing numbers of Chinese turn to the Internet to search for information prior to a purchase. Based on 32 h of interviews with students and business professionals in China, and a questionnaire completed by a sample of 1140 students in Beijing and Belgium, our explorative study demonstrates that fundamental cultural, behavioral, economic, technical, and other characteristics of China cause significant differences between Chinese and Western Europeans in their online search process for information prior to a purchase. The differences occur in frequency, goal, types of information sought, types of websites used, search engine usage patterns, and contribution of user opinions. This has important implications for marketing practitioners in China, especially for multinational corporations that enter China and that are not familiar yet with the Chinese environment. Suggestions for future research are also provided.
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