We aim to guide health care professionals and OR/MS researchers through the broad field of OR/MS in health care. We provide a structured overview of the typical decisions to be made in resource capacity planning and control in health care, and provide a review of relevant OR/MS articles for each planning decision.
The contribution of this paper is twofold. First, to position the planning decisions, we present a taxonomy. This taxonomy provides health care managers and OR/MS researchers with a method to identify, break down and classify planning and control decisions. The taxonomy contains two axes. The vertical axis reflects the hierarchical nature of decision making in resource capacity planning and control, and the horizontal axis the various health care services. The vertical axis is strongly connected, because higher-level decisions demarcate the scope of and impose restrictions on lower-level decisions. Although health care delivery is generally organized in autonomous organizations and departments, the horizontal axis is also strongly interrelated as a patient pathway often consists of several health care services from multiple organizations or departments.
Health care professionals face the challenging task to organize their processes more effectively and efficiently. The pressure on health care systems rises as both demand for health care and expenditures are increasing steadily . Within a health care organization, professionals of different functions jointly organize health care delivery with the objective to provide high-quality care using the limited resources that are available . Designing and organizing processes is known as planning and control, which involves setting goals and deciding in advance what to do, how to do it, when to do it and who should do it. Health care planning and control comprises multiple managerial functions, making medical, financial and resource decisions. In this paper we address the managerial function of resource capacity planning and control as defined in : ‘Resource capacity planning and control addresses the dimensioning, planning, scheduling, monitoring, and control of renewable resources’.
We provide a comprehensive overview of the typical decisions to be made in resource capacity planning and control in health care, and a structured review of relevant articles from the field of Operations Research and Management Sciences (OR/MS) for each planning decision. The contribution of this paper is twofold. First, to position the planning decisions, a taxonomy is presented. This taxonomy provides health care managers and OR/MS researchers with a method to identify, break down and classify planning and control decisions. Second, following the taxonomy, for six health care services, we provide an exhaustive specification of planning and control decisions in resource capacity planning and control. For each planning and control decision, we structurally review the key OR/MS articles and the OR/MS methods and techniques that are applied in the literature to support decision making.