Can optimization methods reduce expenditures in nurse rostering?

Elin Björk Bödvarsdottir, Anders Reenberg Andersen

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Nurse rostering is the task of generating work schedules for nurses. When generating a schedule, one needs to balance three aspects: The nurses’ working hours and conditions, suffi cient staffi ng levels to ensure patient safety, and lastly
budgetary restrictions. As the Danish population is gradually aging, pressure on hospital budgets is growing. Thus, it is vital that hospitals ensure high-quality treatments, while keeping the length-ofstay of patients as low as possible. Achieving this is costly, and therefore an effi cient resource utilization is of the utmost importance in hospitals today. With cost-effi cient planning, the hospitals are given the choice to either: Do the same with less, or do more with the same. In this article, we investigate the potential of employing mixed integer programming to create cost-effi cient rosters under Danish legislation. Thus, we have assessed the potential for Danish hospitals to do the same, but with lower expenses for their personnel resources. Manually generating rosters results in a poor utilization of the resources, as criticized by The National Audit Office of Denmark [4]. They concluded that the work schedules were not cost-eff ective, and emphasized that most of the investigated wards did not assign all of the working hours corresponding to a fi xed monthly salary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-13
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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