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Reducing Boarding in a Post-Anesthesia Care Unit

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Abstract

When operating room schedules in hospitals are produced, the constraints and preferences of surgeons and hospital workers are a primary consideration. The downstream impact on post-operative bed availability is often ignored. This can lead to the boarding of patients overnight in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) because intensive care unit beds are unavailable. In this paper, we apply integer programming and simulation to develop improved surgical scheduling assignments. We want to balance new surgeries with hospital discharges in order to reduce the variability of occupied beds from one day to the next and, as a result, to reduce boarding in the PACU.

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