Stochastic scheduling of chemotherapy appointments considering patient acuity levels

Sirma Karakaya, Serhat Gul, Melih Çelik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)


The uncertainty in infusion durations and non-homogeneous care level needs of patients are the critical factors that lead to difficulties in chemotherapy scheduling. We study the problem of scheduling patient appointments and assigning patients to nurses under uncertainty in infusion durations for a given day. We consider instantaneous nurse workload, represented in terms of total patient acuity levels, and chair availability while scheduling patients. We formulate a two-stage stochastic mixed-integer programming model with the objective of minimizing expected weighted sum of excess patient acuity, waiting time and nurse overtime. We propose a scenario bundling-based decomposition algorithm to find near-optimal schedules. We use data of a major university hospital to generate managerial insights related to the impact of acuity consideration, and number of nurses and chairs on the performance measures. We compare the schedules obtained by the algorithm with the baseline schedules and those found by applying several relevant scheduling heuristics. Finally, we assess the value of stochastic solution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)902-916
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number2
Early online date12 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • Chemotherapy scheduling
  • OR in health services
  • Patient acuity
  • Stochastic programming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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