• Scheduling operating rooms: Achievements, challenges and pitfalls

      Samudra, Michael; Van Riet, Carla; Demeulemeester, Erik; Cardoen, Brecht; Vansteenkiste, Nancy; Rademakers, Frank (Journal of Scheduling, 2016)
      In hospitals, the operating room (OR) is a particularly expensive facility and thus efficient scheduling is imperative. This can be greatly supported by using advanced methods that are discussed in the academic literature. In order to help researchers and practitioners to select new relevant articles, we classify the recent OR planning and scheduling literature into tables regarding patient type, used performance measures, decisions made, OR up- and downstream facilities, uncertainty, research methodology and testing phase. Based on these classifications, we identify trends and promising topics. Additionally, we recognize three common pitfalls that hamper the adoption of research results by stakeholders: the lack of a clear choice of authors on whether to target researchers (contributing advanced methods) or practitioners (providing managerial insights), the use of ill-fitted performance measures in models and the failure to understandably report on the hospital setting and method-related assumptions. We provide specific guidelines that help to avoid these pitfalls. First, we show how to build up an article based on the choice of the target group (i.e., researchers or practitioners). Making a clear distinction between target groups impacts the problem setting, the research task, the reported findings, and the conclusions. Second, we discuss points that need to be considered by researchers when deciding on the used performance measures. Third, we list the assumptions that need to be included in articles in order to enable readers to decide whether the presented research is relevant to them.