Economics at your fingertips  

Stochastic online appointment scheduling of multi-step sequential procedures in nuclear medicine

Eduardo Pérez (), Lewis Ntaimo, César Malavé, Carla Bailey and Peter McCormack

Health Care Management Science, 2013, vol. 16, issue 4, 299 pages

Abstract: The increased demand for medical diagnosis procedures has been recognized as one of the contributors to the rise of health care costs in the U.S. in the last few years. Nuclear medicine is a subspecialty of radiology that uses advanced technology and radiopharmaceuticals for the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. Procedures in nuclear medicine require the use of radiopharmaceuticals, are multi-step, and have to be performed under strict time window constraints. These characteristics make the scheduling of patients and resources in nuclear medicine challenging. In this work, we derive a stochastic online scheduling algorithm for patient and resource scheduling in nuclear medicine departments which take into account the time constraints imposed by the decay of the radiopharmaceuticals and the stochastic nature of the system when scheduling patients. We report on a computational study of the new methodology applied to a real clinic. We use both patient and clinic performance measures in our study. The results show that the new method schedules about 600 more patients per year on average than a scheduling policy that was used in practice by improving the way limited resources are managed at the clinic. The new methodology finds the best start time and resources to be used for each appointment. Furthermore, the new method decreases patient waiting time for an appointment by about two days on average. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Keywords: Health care; Nuclear medicine; Patient service; Online scheduling; Stochastic programming; 90B99; 68M20; 68W27 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (13) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (text/html)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from

DOI: 10.1007/s10729-013-9224-4

Access Statistics for this article

Health Care Management Science is currently edited by Yasar Ozcan

More articles in Health Care Management Science from Springer
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla () and Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing ().

Page updated 2022-06-11
Handle: RePEc:kap:hcarem:v:16:y:2013:i:4:p:281-299