Optimization and Systems Theory Seminar

Friday May 3, at 11.00 Lindstedtsvägen 25, room 3721
Elina Rönnberg  Linköpings Universitet, Sweden.

Automatic scheduling of nurses: What does it take in practice?

Many hospital wards need to be staffed by nurses around the clock every day of the year, and because of that, many nurses have to work irregular hours and according to schedules that have a great impact on their personal lives. Today most schedules are made by hand or with limited computer support, and this is both difficult and very time consuming. A common consequence of making the schedules by hand is that the outcome is neither favourable for the nurses nor satisfactory for the running of the ward. The nurse scheduling problem is well suited for addressing with operations research methods, but a challenge for automated scheduling of nurses is the ability to adapt the scheduling to the specific conditions on each ward. The intention of this talk is to convey a piece of practical experience that can help bridge the gap between advanced method development and the use of automatic nurse scheduling in practice. Our approach is to take on the real life scheduling problem with all its details, and to use a straightforward meta-heuristic in order to deliver automatically generated schedules. I will present the result of two case studies, which will provide insights into examples of real world nurse scheduling, including evaluation and feedback from the wards.

Calendar of seminars Last update: March 19, 2013.