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A stochastic model for the patient-bed assignment problem with random arrivals and departures


Heydar, M and O'Reilly, MM and Trainer, E and Fackrell, M and Taylor, PG and Tirdad, A, A stochastic model for the patient-bed assignment problem with random arrivals and departures, Annals of Operations Research ISSN 0254-5330 (2021) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC part of Springer Nature

DOI: doi:10.1007/s10479-021-03982-9


We consider the patient-to-bed assignment problem that arises in hospitals. Both emergency patients who require hospital admission and elective patients who have had surgery need to be found a bed in the most appropriate ward. The patient-to-bed assignment problem arises when a bed request is made, but a bed in the most appropriate ward is unavailable. In this case, the next-best decision out of a many alternatives has to be made, according to some suitable decision making algorithm. We construct a Markov chain to model this problem in which we consider the effect on the length of stay of a patient whose treatment and recovery consists of several stages, and can be affected by stays in or transfers to less suitable wards. We formulate a dynamic program recursion to optimise an objective function and calculate the optimal decision variables, and discuss simulation techniques that are useful when the size of the problem is too large. We illustrate the theory with some numerical examples.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:modelling healthcare, optimisation, markovian decision processes, patient-bed assignment problem, emergency department, health care modelling, Markov chain, dynamic programming, approximate dynamic programming, simulation
Research Division:Mathematical Sciences
Research Group:Applied mathematics
Research Field:Operations research
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the mathematical sciences
UTAS Author:Heydar, M (Dr Mojtaba Heydar)
UTAS Author:O'Reilly, MM (Associate Professor Malgorzata O'Reilly)
UTAS Author:Trainer, E (Ms Erin Trainer)
ID Code:148155
Year Published:2021
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP140100152)
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Mathematics
Deposited On:2021-12-07
Last Modified:2023-02-08
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