University of Twente Student Theses


Improving OR-scheduling at an orthopaedic clinic

Rolink, A.T. (2023) Improving OR-scheduling at an orthopaedic clinic.

Full text not available from this repository.

Full Text Status:Access to this publication is restricted
Embargo date:1 January 2033
Abstract:This research focuses on improving the efficiency of the operating room (OR) scheduling at OCON, an orthopaedic hospital. The OR-schedulers face difficulties to create a schedule with high utilisation and little open timeslots, even though there is a sufficient waiting list for surgery. A cause for this problem is that there are too few plannable patients, being patients that want to have surgery in the near future and that have been approved for surgery by the pre-operative screening (POS) department. Some patients in need of surgery do not want it yet. These people are called voluntary postponers. This research aims to improve OR-scheduling efficiency by answering the following research question: “How can OR-scheduling at OCON be improved by (i) aligning POS-scheduling and OR-scheduling and (ii) reducing voluntary postponement?” We mapped and analysed patient- and scheduling processes to identify the key drivers of scheduling inefficiencies at OCON. Subsequently, we evaluated the efficiency of the current OR-scheduling, and conducted a literature review and interviews with four other orthopaedic clinics, three orthopaedic surgeons at OCON and other employees, resulting in the selection of 5 possible improvement options. To identify the best option, various stakeholders evaluated the five possible improvement options. Considering all collected information, performed analyses, and the expected cost-effectiveness of the possible improvement options, we advise to implement nudging strategies to improve OR-scheduling efficiency. Nudging strategies aim at reducing the proportion of voluntary postponers on the waiting list for surgery by influencing patient decision-making by acting on their cognitive biases. We recommend educating patients about the complexity of the scheduling processes, inform them about the consequences of voluntary postponement, and manage their expectations about OR-scheduling.During the holiday-related months, we also advise to act on human characteristics such as risk aversion to scarcity preference to steer patients towards having surgery as soon as possible. These nudging strategies combined are expected to increase the number of plannable patients and thus increase OR-scheduling efficiency.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
OCON Orthopedische Kliniek, Hengelo, The Netherlands
Faculty:TNW: Science and Technology
Subject:44 medicine, 70 social sciences in general
Programme:Health Sciences MSc (66851)
Link to this item:
Export this item as:BibTeX
HTML Citation
Reference Manager


Repository Staff Only: item control page