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Automating the self-scheduling process of nurses in Swedish healthcare: a pilot study
Linköping University, Department of Mathematics, Optimization . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Mathematics, Optimization . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2094-7376
2010 (English)In: HEALTH CARE MANAGEMENT SCIENCE, ISSN 1386-9620, Vol. 13, no 1, 35-53 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Hospital wards need to be staffed by nurses round the clock, resulting in irregular working hours for many nurses. Over the years, the nurses influence on the scheduling has been increased in order to improve their working conditions. In Sweden it is common to apply a kind of self-scheduling where each nurse individually proposes a schedule, and then the final schedule is determined through informal negotiations between the nurses. This kind of self-scheduling is very time-consuming and does often lead to conflicts. We present a pilot study which aims at determining if it is possible to create an optimisation tool that automatically delivers a usable schedule based on the schedules proposed by the nurses. The study is performed at a typical Swedish nursing ward, for which we have developed a mathematical model and delivered schedules. The results of this study are very promising and suggest continued work along these lines.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Science Business Media , 2010. Vol. 13, no 1, 35-53 p.
Keyword [en]
Nurse scheduling, Nurse rostering, Self-scheduling, Preference scheduling, Operations research, Integer linear programming
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-59720DOI: 10.1007/s10729-009-9107-xISI: 000281585200004OAI: diva2:353179
The original publication is available at Elina Rönnberg and Torbjörn Larsson, Automating the self-scheduling process of nurses in Swedish healthcare: a pilot study, 2010, HEALTH CARE MANAGEMENT SCIENCE, (13), 1, 35-53. Copyright: Springer Science Business Media Available from: 2010-09-24 Created: 2010-09-24 Last updated: 2013-08-30
In thesis
1. Contributions within two topics in integer programming: nurse scheduling and column generation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contributions within two topics in integer programming: nurse scheduling and column generation
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Integer programming can be used to provide solutions to complex decision and planning problems occurring in a wide variety of situations. The application of integer programming to solve real world problems requires a modelling phase in which the problem at hand is translated into a mathematical description of the problem, and a solution phase that aims at developing methods for producing solutions to the mathematical formulation of the problem.

The first two papers of this thesis have their focus on the modelling phase, and the application of integer programming for solving nurse scheduling problems. Common to both papers is that the research has been conducted in collaboration with health care representatives, and that the models presented can be used for providing schedules that can be used by nurses. In the latter paper, a meta-heuristic approach is suggested for providing the schedules.

The last three papers address method development and specifically the design of column generation methods. The first of these papers presents optimality conditions that are useful in methods where columns are generated using dual solutions that are not necessarily optimal with respect to a linear programming relaxation, and the usefulness of these conditions are illustrated by examples from the literature.

Many applications of column generation yield master problems of a set partitioning type, and the fourth and fifth paper present methodologies for solving such problems. The characteristics of these methodologies  are that all solutions derived are feasible and integral, where the preservation of integrality is a major distinction from other column generation methods presented in the literature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping University Electronic Press, 2012. 39 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1421
National Category
Computational Mathematics
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-76092 (URN)978-91-7519-975-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-05-10, Visionen, B-huset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2012-03-28 Created: 2012-03-26 Last updated: 2013-08-30Bibliographically approved

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