A stochastic dynamic program for the single-day surgery scheduling problem
The scheduling of individual surgical patients has received extensive treatment in the literature, but this paper is the first to propose a model that simultaneously captures the roles of block schedules, block release dates, and request queue policies in the dynamic evolution of the schedule for a single day in an operating room suite. The model is formulated as a stochastic dynamic program and theoretical results are obtained for a single room version. These results demonstrate that optimal request queue decisions for a single room follow a threshold policy that preserves a desired amount of operating room space for the remaining demand from the rooms allocated surgical specialty. An algorithm for determining the optimal thresholds is presented, followed by computational results.