Multi-Objective Operating Room Scheduling Using Simulation-based Optimization

Document Type: Research Paper


Management and Productivity Study Center, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


As the main source of income and expenses of hospitals, operating rooms (ORs) are the engines of hospitals' economics and they have a significant impact on public health. Many papers concerned regarding OR planning and scheduling problems, but they have not considerably applied the simulation-based optimization approach to solve the problems. In OR scheduling problems, there are a number of ORs and some surgeons with different specialties and each surgeon has a waiting list of some patients that each surgery should be planned and scheduled on the days when relevant surgeons are available. In this study, we consider two objectives: (1) minimizing the costs of overtime staffing and ORs’ idle time, and (2) minimizing the number of waiting days for patients. The mathematical model of OR scheduling problem is developed and solved by both exact method and simulation-based optimization approach. The comparison of results obtained from exact method and simulation-based optimization approach indicates that the exact method is only able to solve the small-size problems in reasonable time, while simulation-based optimization approach find competitive solutions for both small-size and large-size problems and solve large-size problems in an acceptable time.


Main Subjects

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