A shift scheduling model for employees with different seniority levels and an application in healthcare

Topaloglu Ş. A.

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF OPERATIONAL RESEARCH, vol.198, no.3, pp.943-957, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 198 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ejor.2008.10.032
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.943-957
  • Keywords: OR in manpower planning, OR in health services, Multiple objective programming, Shift scheduling, Resident physicians, Seniority, ANALYTIC HIERARCHY PROCESS, GOAL PROGRAMMING-MODEL, GENETIC ALGORITHM, SUPPORT-SYSTEM, TABU SEARCH, NURSES, PREFERENCE, RESIDENTS, SELECTION, WEIGHTS
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


This paper addresses the problem of scheduling medical residents that arises in different clinical settings of a hospital. The residents are grouped according to different seniority levels that are specified by the number of years spent in residency training. It is required from the residents to participate in the delivery of patient care services directly by working weekday and weekend day shifts in addition to their regular daytime work. A monthly shift schedule is prepared to determine the shift duties of each resident considering shift coverage requirements, seniority-based workload rules, and resident work preferences. Due to the large number of constraints often conflicting, a multi-objective programming model has been proposed to automate the schedule generation process. The model is implemented on a real case in the pulmonary unit of a local hospital for a 6-month period using sequential and weighted methods. The results indicate that high quality solutions can be obtained within a few seconds compared to the manually prepared schedules expending considerable effort and time. It is also shown that the employed weighting procedure based on seniority levels performs much better compared to the preemptive method in terms of computational burden. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.