PHYSICIAN SCHEDULING IN WOMEN'S HOSPITAL
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In this project, a physician scheduling problem arising from the operations of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at Hamad Women's Hospital in Qatar has been studied. The essence of the physician scheduling problem lies in assigning physicians with different experience levels to a set of predetermined shifts to achieve a set of clinical/non-clinical duties over a defined time horizon while considering a large set of conflicting rules and constraints including, and not limited, to hospital rules, physicians' requirements, shift coverage requirements, seniority-based workload rules, physicians' preferences, and workload balance aspects. The focus of this research project is to develop schedule for physicians (labor specialists and inpatient ward specialists) within Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at Hamad Women's Hospital for on-call shifts (evening shift and night shift) beside regular working shift (morning shift) while respecting all hard constraints, satisfying a wide range of soft constraints as far as possible, and most importantly balancing the workload among the physicians. Both labor specialists and inpatient ward specialists are the main service providers in this hospital, and therefore optimizing their work-shifts assignments would indirectly assist in providing a better service to female patients in Qatar and would result in meeting both the hospital and the physicians' satisfaction. In this work, the problem is formulated as mathematical programming model and solved by AIMMS optimization software. Optimal physicians' schedules were generated, and the proposed model was tested on real data provided from the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department in Qatar. A comparison between the resulting optimal schedules and the manual schedules used currently by the hospital was conducted. Then, a sensitivity analysis was performed in order to test the robustness of the obtained physicians' schedules of the proposed model. The proposed approach demonstrated that high quality schedules that satisfy all the constraints and mainly ensure balanced workload among the physicians can be generated with less time and effort required compared to the schedules prepared manually by the chief specialist in Women's Hospital.
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