This research deals with the same-day chemotherapy outpatient scheduling problem that is recognized as a leading strategy to pursue the objective of reducing patient waiting time. Inspired by a real-world context and different from the other studies, we modeled a multi-stage chemotherapy ward in which the pharmacy is located away from the treatment area and drugs are delivered in batches. Processes in oncology wards are characterized by several sources of uncertainty that increase the complexity of the problem; thus, a stochastic approach was preferred to study the outpatient scheduling problem. To generate effective appointment schedules, we moved in two directions. First, we adopted a late-start scheduling strategy to reduce the idle times within and among the different stages, namely medical consultation, drug preparation and infusion. Then, since the problem is NP-hard in the strong sense, we developed a hybrid harmony search metaheuristic whose effectiveness was proved through an extended numerical analysis involving another optimization technique from the relevant literature. The outcomes from the numerical experiments confirmed the efficacy of the proposed scheduling model and the hybrid metaheuristic algorithm as well.

Hybrid Harmony Search for Stochastic Scheduling of Chemotherapy Outpatient Appointments

Corsini, Roberto Rosario
Primo
Methodology
;
Costa, Antonio
;
Fichera, Sergio;Parrinello, Vincenzo
2022-01-01

Abstract

This research deals with the same-day chemotherapy outpatient scheduling problem that is recognized as a leading strategy to pursue the objective of reducing patient waiting time. Inspired by a real-world context and different from the other studies, we modeled a multi-stage chemotherapy ward in which the pharmacy is located away from the treatment area and drugs are delivered in batches. Processes in oncology wards are characterized by several sources of uncertainty that increase the complexity of the problem; thus, a stochastic approach was preferred to study the outpatient scheduling problem. To generate effective appointment schedules, we moved in two directions. First, we adopted a late-start scheduling strategy to reduce the idle times within and among the different stages, namely medical consultation, drug preparation and infusion. Then, since the problem is NP-hard in the strong sense, we developed a hybrid harmony search metaheuristic whose effectiveness was proved through an extended numerical analysis involving another optimization technique from the relevant literature. The outcomes from the numerical experiments confirmed the efficacy of the proposed scheduling model and the hybrid metaheuristic algorithm as well.
stochastic scheduling
health care
harmony search
flow time
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/541399
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