University of Twente Student Theses


Model for scheduling multi-skilled personnel at the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology

Geerts, Bibianne C.B. (2012) Model for scheduling multi-skilled personnel at the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.

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Abstract:This study is performed at the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology in Enschede. It is a self-operating department within Medisch Spectrum Twente where the functioning of the central and peripheral nervous system is examined by lab assistants. Within the department there is a need for improving the process of creating the personnel schedule, since the schedule is currently made manually by a lab assistant, which is time-consuming and complex. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether it is possible to find a simple, clear and quick way to create a personnel planning. With the method found, a decision support model (also called personnel planning tool) is designed to help the planner creating a schedule. The planning tool should provide the planner with a weekly schedule in which the tasks in specific examination rooms are assigned to an available employee with the right skills. The input parameters are employees, examination rooms, shifts and skills. Output variables are an automatic generated week schedule, and an overview of the over- and under capacity. First, the problems at the department are indicated by a context analysis. Relevant for the planning tool are the big differences in the skills levels and the unclear digital system in which the planning currently is made. Other problems, more relevant to patient appointment scheduling, are identified as well. Second, a literature study is conducted to find an appropriate method to solve the problem. The goal is to assign an employee that is available during a shift and has the right skill to perform the examination to every examination room where examinations are scheduled. We find that integer linear programming is a suitable method to solve the problem. The method can solve optimization problems by using an objective, decision variables and constraints. The objective is to minimize the unfulfilled positions in examination rooms and to minimize the number of employees that are more than two times per week in the same examination room, in order to obtain a schedule in which employees are assigned to needed examination rooms and that it offers variation to the employees. The modeling environment AIMMS 3.12 is used to implement the model. The conclusion is that the new planning tool can make a week schedule in a matter of seconds, when using standard input data of the department. Changes, like sudden absence of an employee, can be easily processed in the model after which the model provides the planner with a new day and/or week schedule. It is recommended to improve the model and investigate whether the decision support model can be extended for the use at other departments in the hospital with comparable scheduling problems. Furthermore, it is advised to print out the schedules for the employees, to ensure that they do not have to log onto the computer when they want to see to which rooms they have to go.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Health Sciences MSc (66851)
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