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.