Optimal booking and scheduling in outpatient procedure centers

Bjorn P. Berg, Brian T. Denton, S. Ayca Erdogan, Thomas Rohleder, Todd Huschka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Patient appointment booking, sequencing, and scheduling decisions are challenging for outpatient procedure centers due to uncertainty in procedure times and patient attendance. We extend a previously developed appointment scheduling model to formulate a model based on a two-stage stochastic mixed integer program for optimizing booking and appointment times in the presence of uncertainty. The objective is to maximize expected profit. Analytical insights are reported for special cases and experimental results show that they provide useful rules of thumb for more general problems. Three solution methods are described which take advantage of the underlying structure of the stochastic program, and a series of experiments are performed to determine the best method. A case study based on an endoscopy suite at a large medical center is used to draw a number of useful managerial insights for procedure center managers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-37
Number of pages14
JournalComputers and Operations Research
StatePublished - Oct 2014


  • OR in health services
  • Scheduling
  • Simulation
  • Stochastic programming


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