Intelligent Scheduling of Medical Procedures
In the Canadian universal healthcare system, public access to care is not limited by monetary or social economic factors. Rather, waiting time is the dominant factor limiting public access to healthcare. Excessive waiting lowers quality of life while waiting, and worsening of condition during the delay, which could lower the effectiveness of the planned operation. Excessive waiting has also been shown to carry economic cost. At the core of the wait time problem is a resource scheduling and management issue. The scheduling of medical procedures is a complex and difficult task. The goal of research in this thesis is to develop the foundation models and algorithms for a resource optimization system. Such a system will help healthcare administrators intelligently schedule procedures to optimize resource utilization, identify bottlenecks and reduce patient wait times. This thesis develops a novel framework, the MPSP model, to model medical procedures. The MPSP model is designed to be general and versatile to model a variety of different procedures. The specific procedure modeled in detail in this thesis is the haemodialysis procedure. Solving the MPSP model exactly to obtain guaranteed optimal solutions is computationally expensive and not practical for real-time scheduling. A fast, high quality evolutionary heuristic, gMASH, is developed to quickly solve large problems. The MPSP model and the gMASH heuristic form a foundation for an intelligent medical procedures scheduling and optimization system.