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Operations research in intensive care unit management: a literature review

Jie Bai, Andreas Fügener (), Jan Schoenfelder and Jens O. Brunner
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Jie Bai: Universitäres Zentrum für Gesundheitswissenschaften am Klinikum Augsburg (UNIKA-T)
Andreas Fügener: University of Cologne
Jan Schoenfelder: Universitäres Zentrum für Gesundheitswissenschaften am Klinikum Augsburg (UNIKA-T)
Jens O. Brunner: Universitäres Zentrum für Gesundheitswissenschaften am Klinikum Augsburg (UNIKA-T)

Health Care Management Science, 2018, vol. 21, issue 1, No 1, 24 pages

Abstract: Abstract The intensive care unit (ICU) is a crucial and expensive resource largely affected by uncertainty and variability. Insufficient ICU capacity causes many negative effects not only in the ICU itself, but also in other connected departments along the patient care path. Operations research/management science (OR/MS) plays an important role in identifying ways to manage ICU capacities efficiently and in ensuring desired levels of service quality. As a consequence, numerous papers on the topic exist. The goal of this paper is to provide the first structured literature review on how OR/MS may support ICU management. We start our review by illustrating the important role the ICU plays in the hospital patient flow. Then we focus on the ICU management problem (single department management problem) and classify the literature from multiple angles, including decision horizons, problem settings, and modeling and solution techniques. Based on the classification logic, research gaps and opportunities are highlighted, e.g., combining bed capacity planning and personnel scheduling, modeling uncertainty with non-homogenous distribution functions, and exploring more efficient solution approaches.

Keywords: Intensive care unit; Health care; Capacity management; Operations research; Management science (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1007/s10729-016-9375-1

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