This article discusses the financial perspective in a case study at ICTRA that deals with improving ICT service delivery. It outlines the three-step approach taken in the Finance Transformation Project and explains how this approach helped ICTRA in becoming a more business-oriented ICT shared service centre.
In most hospitals there are some patients who receive surgery later than required. As their health condition can potentially quickly worsen, they are exposed to a health risk. In order to improve the current situation, the lateness of patients has to be, firstly, quantified and, secondly, the responsible mechanism has to be understood, namely the patient scheduling process. We analyzed the percentage of patients being served late in Belgium’s largest hospital, the UZ Leuven. At the hospital, an elective patient is associated with one of five due time intervals within which the patient has to be served. We analyzed the lateness of patients across disciplines using all data from 2012 and 22 ORs. We tried to understand many of the different aspects related to the scheduling process, which knowledge we then included into a simulation model. We investigated from the data: patient arrival patterns, the relation between estimated and realized surgery durations, rescheduling mechanisms and the allocation patterns of emergencies. We also used the model to investigate the effects of switching from the current scheduling practice of assigning surgeries directly to slots (OR and day) to a two-step procedure, where patients are scheduled to a surgery week first and only in a second step to slots. Our results suggest that in case of the two-step procedure it is very important to allow patients with shorter due times to break into the already fixed weekly schedule. Additionally, it is important that in the second step of the scheduling procedure, in the within week scheduling, the due time is considered. We conclude that improving patient scheduling can help to decrease the amount of patients served too late. As a next step, we try to develop a sound scheduling schema, which allows to further decrease the number of patients served to late.
This case study covers the story of a process reengineering effort at Belgacom Mobile, the largest Belgian mobile telecommunications operator. It describes how a smart combination of theoretical concepts can lead to process innovation, and product innovation. The process innovation effort consisted of a large automation pillar and the rebuilding of the enterprise backbone system SPOMS. Architectural principles were applied to allow the redesigned process to be flexible and capable of dealing with newly emerging SIM card types and technological advances. The sub-processes will be orchestrated by the process owner who controls the entire process from a process dashboard. This case shows the potential benefits of Business Process Management (BPM), IT-enabled innovation and Product Factory. The redesigned SIM card ordering process thus provides a sustainable answer to the ever shortening life-cycle of products and technologies, SIM cards in particular, and the call for process flexibility in fast changing environments. The contribution of this project to the general understanding IT-enabled innovation lies in the innovative approach. Namely, product and process were separated from each other by means of Production Process ID creation. The redesigned SIM card ordering process thus provides a sustainable answer to the ever shortening life-cycle of products and technologies, SIM cards in particular. The redesigned sub-processes are orchestrated by the process owner who controls the entire process from a process dashboard. In terms of performance improvement, the project resulted in (1) increased process flexibility (2) and consistency, (3) dramatically shortened lead-times and (4) better control over the process.
Personnel resources can introduce uncertainty in the operational processes. Constructed personnel rosters can be disrupted and render infeasible rosters. Feasibility has to be restored by adapting the original announced personnel rosters. In this paper, an Artificial Immune System for the nurse re-rostering problem is presented. The proposed algorithm uses problem-specific and even roster-specific mechanisms which are inspired on the vertebrate immune system. We observe the performance of the different algorithmic components and compare the proposed procedure with the existing literature.
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