2012 Wagner Prize Finalist - University of Michigan & Duke Medicine

Improving Patient Access to Chemotherapy Treatment at Duke Cancer Institute

We describe how discrete event simulation and optimization methods were used to improve patient flow within a large cancer center. First, we show results from the simulation model that indicate nurses in the chemotherapy infusion center are a significant bottleneck. Next, we describe a mixed integer program that was used to optimize weekly nurse shift scheduling, and how a simulation optimization model was further used to optimize nurse shift start times to minimize average patient waiting time. Finally we summarize the recommendations that were implemented at Duke Cancer Institute.