Decision Systems Seminar: “Patient Flow: Stochastic Modeling, and Scheduling Optimization”

Mark P. Van Oyen, Associate Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan

Friday, February 8th 2013, 12:15-1:15pm


“Patient Flow: Stochastic Modeling, and Scheduling Optimization”

Abstract: Operations research and similar disciplines have great potential to meet the growing need for modeling healthcare delivery problems as operational systems. The term patient flow modeling is often used to describe models that address the logistical flow of patients through a healthcare operation.  Based on collaboration with a variety of hospitals and organizations, my research with current and former students has developed data-driven stochastic models to provide sufficient modeling power to apply optimization methods to flow improvement.  Elective inpatient admissions control, emergency department flow, and clinical research units are examples of diverse patient flow environments that we have addressed.  This talk will discuss perspectives on patient flow modeling that I have found useful.  Scheduling is important at multiple levels in an organization. At strategic levels, the concept of scheduling blends into “capacity planning” and performance forecasting, which are greatly needed tools for creating more effective delivery networks.   We discuss an approach to modeling resource utilizations, waiting time (using an unusual approach), and coordinating multiple resources (human and physical).  Using simulation as a testbed, we show that our modeling approach is surprisingly accurate and offers significant improvement.

Bio: Mark Van Oyen is an Associate Professor of Industrial and Operations Engr. (IOE) at the University of Michigan.  His interests include the analysis, design, control, and management of operational systems, with emphasis on performance and flexibility, frequently contributing to the control and performance analysis of queueing network models.  Most of his current research focuses on healthcare operations research and systems engineering. His awards with students include the 2010 Pierskalla Award and both first and second prize winning papers in the 2011 POMS CHOM best paper competition. He was the IOE Dept. Faculty of the Year for 2008-9, an ALCOA Manufacturing Systems Faculty Fellow, and the 2003 Researcher of the Year at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Business. He has served as Associate Editor for Operations Research, Naval Research Logistics, and IIE Transactions and Senior Editor for Flexible Services & Manufacturing. He was a faculty member of the Northwestern Univ. Sch. of Engineering (1993-2005) and Loyola Univ. of Chicago’s Sch. of Bus. Admin. (1999-2005). He has received grant funding from the NSF, ONR, NIH, EPRI, ALCOA, General Motors, and the VA. He has worked in industry for GE Corporate R&D and Lear Siegler’s Instrument & Avionic Sys. Div.