Comparing two operating-room-allocation policies for elective and emergency surgeries

Yann Ferrand, Michael Magazine, Uday Rao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

27 Scopus citations


When organizing the operating theatre and scheduling surgeries, hospitals face a trade-off between the need to be responsive to emergency cases and to conduct scheduled elective surgeries efficiently. We develop a simulation model to compare a flexible and a focused resource-allocation policy. We evaluate these two policies on patient and provider outcome measures, including patient wait time and physician overtime. We find that the focused policy results in lower elective wait time and lower overtime, which leads to the conclusion that electives benefit more from the elimination of emergency disruptions than what they lose from the reduced access to operating rooms. Emergency patient wait time, however, increases significantly as we shift from the flexible to the focused policy. The sensitivity analysis showed that average emergency wait time can decrease as the processing time variability increases. The trade-off between efficiency and responsiveness calls for additional research on other operating-room-allocation policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2010 Winter Simulation Conference, WSC'10
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event2010 43rd Winter Simulation Conference, WSC'10 - Baltimore, MD, United States
Duration: Dec 5 2010Dec 8 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings - Winter Simulation Conference
ISSN (Print)0891-7736


Conference2010 43rd Winter Simulation Conference, WSC'10
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBaltimore, MD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications


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