Laps Care: an operational system for staff planning of home care
2006 (English)In: European Journal of Operational Research, ISSN 0377-2217, Vol. 171, no 3, 962-976 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The health care system in Sweden and many other countries is facing increasing costs. The major reason is the changing age distribution of the population with more elderly people in need of support. At the same time, health care systems are often very labor and staff intensive. In this paper, we focus on a staff planning problem arising in Sweden where people receive home care from the local authorities. The objective is to develop visiting schedules for care providers that incorporate some restrictions and soft objectives. Each visit has a particular task to be performed, for example: cleaning, washing, personal hygiene and/or nursing activities. Each staff member has skills and each client should, if possible, be visited by the same contact person. The operational situation is continuously changing and planning is done each day. We describe the development of a decision support system Laps Care to aid the planners. The system consists of a number of components including information data bases, maps, optimization routines, and report possibilities. We formulate the problem using a set partitioning model and, for a solution method, we make use of a repeated matching algorithm. The system is currently in operation at a number of home care organizations. We report on the practical impact of the system in the health care organization which was involved in the development. The savings are considerably in terms of saved planning time and in the quality of the routes, as well as the measured quality for the clients. Numerical experiments of the system are presented.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 171, no 3, 962-976 p.
health care; home care; staff planning; modelling; heuristics; optimization; practice of OR
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-53494DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2005.01.011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-53494DiVA: diva2:289833