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The University of Southampton
CORMSIS Centre for Operational Research, Management Sciences and Information Systems

CORMSIS/SORG Seminar - Healthcare Logistics Event

16:00 - 17:00
30 November 2016
Room 1083 Building 2, Southampton Business School

For more information regarding this event, please email Dr Yuan Huang at .

Event details

Abstract of the talk: Healthcare logistics addresses the efficient planning, realization and control of patient-, material- and information-flow within the healthcare sector. Therefore, the use of Operations Research methods plays a crucial role in healthcare logistics. However, the unique feature in this field of application is to not only put emphasis upon the economic efficiency but also to take into account the quality of care and patient satisfaction. Accordingly, the medical competence is never interfered in. Especially in hospitals, scheduling problems and in-house logistics are of great importance. With the help of medical and technical devices patients are examined, treated and cured if possible. Hospital logistics are all technical and organizational measures that are needed to transfer patients from an initial state (“ill”) into a final state (in the best case “healthy”) while also regarding the corresponding goods and information. Usually, hospital processes are grown historically (“We have always done it this way.”). Consequently, processes have not been analyzed critically until reforms of the health system have put increasing pressure on hospitals. Nowadays, hospitals are looking for possibilities to improve their processes. Therefore, the success of logistics concepts in hospitals lies in resource conservation for non-value-adding activities (not directly relevant for the healing process, e.g., administrative work) and high resource utilization for value-adding activities (e.g., surgery) while the personnel shall not be over-utilized (i.e., no overtime). Moreover, the interaction of appropriate logistics concepts with modern OR models allow a patient centered treatment, by respecting the needs of a patient and allowing a smoother process. Moreover, the digitalization of the health care sector offers new opportunities to OR. Clinical pathways should determine an optimal sequence and schedule for the patient’s treatment with the objective of minimizing delays and maximizing the quality of care while taking into account resource capacities. To reach this goal, logistics aspects on different hierarchical levels as hospital layout planning (strategic), appointment planning (tactical) and patient transportation (operational) have to be integrated into the clinical pathway. In this talk, we give an overview on how OR methods can be used in order to support process optimization in healthcare organizations. We focus on healthcare logistics applications arising in different healthcare sectors and dealing with different time scales. Examples include: Hospital layout planning, Appointment planning, Patient transportation, Ambulance location and Home health care. Both, OR models and numerical results – also from real world projects - will be presented. In addition, we will give some advice on how teaching in OR for Health Care could be done.

Speaker information

Professor Stefan Nickel,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology,Stefan Nickel is a full professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology - KIT (Germany) and one of the directors of the Institute of Operations Research. He obtained his PhD in mathematics at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern (Germany) in 1995. From 1995 to 2003 he was assistant and associate professor in mathematics at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern. After a full professor position at the Saarland University (Chair of Operations Research and Logistics) from 2003 to 2009, he joined the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology as the Chair in Discrete Optimization and Logistics in April 2009. Since 2014 he is the dean of the Department of Economics and Management at KIT. Stefan Nickel was also member of the scientific advisory board as well as of the management board of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Mathematics (ITWM) in Kaiserslautern from 2004-2016. Since 2011 he additionally holds the positions of one of the directors of the Karlsruhe Service Research Institute (KSRI) and of the Research Center for Computer Science (FZI). From 2006-2015 he was editor-in-chief of Computers & Operations Research and is still consulting editor. Moreover, he is editor-in-chief of Operations Research for Health Care. He has coordinated the Health Care working group within the German OR society (GOR) and has been the president of GOR from 2013-2014. Stefan Nickel has authored or co-authored 5 books as well as more than 100 scientific articles in his research areas Locational Analysis, Supply Chain Management, Health Care Logistics, and Online Optimization. He has been awarded the EURO prize for the best EJOR review paper (2012) and the Elsevier prize for the EJOR top cited article 2007-2011. In addition he conducted several industry projects with well-known companies such as BASF, Lufthansa, Miele, or SAP.

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