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A Two-Stage Nurse Scheduling Approach for Residential Care Organizations in the Netherlands

Greef, Kim de (2023) A Two-Stage Nurse Scheduling Approach for Residential Care Organizations in the Netherlands.

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Abstract:This research focuses on supporting Dutch residential care organizations in constructing fairness-enhanced nurse schedules to sustain work-life balance and improve job satisfaction. The study was conducted at Nedap Healthcare, which has developed a software suite for manual shift assignments to nurses. The research involves a two-stage scheduling method. In the first stage, a tactical schedule is created to prioritize nurses' preferences and work-life balance. The second stage generates an operational schedule that meets the periodic coverage requirements and incorporates planned absenteeism. A simulated annealing algorithm is used to optimize both schedules and minimize penalties resulting from violations of time- and organizational-related constraints. The method's performance was evaluated through three case studies, flexibility analysis, and sensitivity analysis. The results showed a trade-off between meeting coverage requirements and minimizing violations. The proposed method resulted in lower objective values for two out of three case studies, reducing TRC and ORC violations. However, valid operational schedules could not be generated for the large case study due to the remaining open shifts. The flexibility analysis revealed the influence of the flexibility parameter on fairness and violations. The method's performance was sensitive to the weights assigned to constraints and the flexibility parameter. The study concludes that the method can generate valid schedules for small and medium case studies but requires further validation and customization for real-world implementation. The research findings can support Nedap in extending their software to provide automated scheduling that prioritizes fairness and work-life balance, enhancing nurses' job satisfaction. However, limitations and additional research are necessary to refine the method and accommodate organizational priorities and preferences.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Nedap, Groenlo, Netherlands
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:50 technical science in general
Programme:Industrial Engineering and Management MSc (60029)
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