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Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010148

Solving a More Flexible Home Health Care Scheduling and Routing Problem with Joint Patient and Nursing Staff Selection

Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
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Received: 27 November 2017 / Revised: 2 January 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2018 / Published: 9 January 2018
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Abstract

Development of an efficient and effective home health care (HHC) service system is a quite recent and challenging task for the HHC firms. This paper aims to develop an HHC service system in the perspective of long-term economic sustainability as well as operational efficiency. A more flexible mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) model is formulated by incorporating the dynamic arrival and departure of patients along with the selection of new patients and nursing staff. An integrated model is proposed that jointly addresses: (i) patient selection; (ii) nurse hiring; (iii) nurse to patient assignment; and (iv) scheduling and routing decisions in a daily HHC planning problem. The proposed model extends the HHC problem from conventional scheduling and routing issues to demand and capacity management aspects. It enables an HHC firm to solve the daily scheduling and routing problem considering existing patients and nursing staff in combination with the simultaneous selection of new patients and nurses, and optimizing the existing routes by including new patients and nurses. The model considers planning issues related to compatibility, time restrictions, contract durations, idle time and workload balance. Two heuristic methods are proposed to solve the model by exploiting the variable neighborhood search (VNS) approach. Results obtained from the heuristic methods are compared with a CPLEX based solution. Numerical experiments performed on different data sets, show the efficiency and effectiveness of the solution methods to handle the considered problem. View Full-Text
Keywords: home health care; heuristics; mathematical programming; patient and staff selection; vehicle routing; scheduling home health care; heuristics; mathematical programming; patient and staff selection; vehicle routing; scheduling
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Nasir, J.A.; Dang, C. Solving a More Flexible Home Health Care Scheduling and Routing Problem with Joint Patient and Nursing Staff Selection. Sustainability 2018, 10, 148.

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