The process of scheduling patients to MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanners at hospitals is typically done in multiple stages. On a tactical decision making level, the hospital in this study develops a block schedule that is used as a guide in the appointment scheduling on the operational level. The block schedule is a weekly recurring schedule that specifies an assignment of patient groups, which is defined according to medical characteristics, to the different heterogeneous MRI scanners at different time slots during a week. The block schedule must satisfy various technical and staffing requirements, such as change of coils and available personnel.
In this work, we suggest using mathematical programming to create appropriate block schedules, and propose a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) formulation of the problem. The MILP is solved using a commercial solver on test data obtained from a major Norwegian hospital.
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