Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Industrial Engineering


Taaffe, Kevin M

Committee Member

Fredendall , Lawrence

Committee Member

Khademi , Amin


Planning for sufficient surgical capacity at a hospital requires that many tactical and operational decisions be made before the day of surgery. Typically, blocks of time in operating rooms (ORs) are assigned and specific surgical cases are placed in rooms. The hospital monitors utilization to determine the schedule's effectiveness in balancing the risk of overtime with idle time. In this thesis, we will examine how adjusting schedule risk ratios and penalty values, and providing shared, open posting time affected the hospital's ability to identify an efficient but high quality and low cost block schedule. The proposed schedules were tested by assigning surgical cases to ORs and simulating the schedule's performance using recent data from a local hospital. We also show how scheduling accuracy can impact the performance level of the schedules proposed. Once the schedule has been set, the use of block release time is investigated in order to provide insight on how to better fill these ORs and increase utilization levels. Release policies are simulated based on various surgery arrival distributions, capacity levels, and case durations. We will show how different policies involving assigned and open posting rooms impact utilization levels, number of cases not fit into the schedule, and number of cases posted after the block release time.