ORCA researchers have been working with North Shore and Middlemore hospitals in Auckland, New Zealand, and LiHuili hospital in Ningbo, China, to improve the scheduling and planning of surgical procedures.

Our researchers use data analytics to predict surgery durations and optimisation to allocate procedures to surgical sessions. Our algorithms produce robust session plans that have a low probability of running overtime, but also perform a high number of surgeries. Our software creates session schedules that can be updated in real time to estimate: when a patient should be called to theatre; and when the session will finish; both key pieces of information for managing a surgical theatre suite effectively. Working in partnership with ORCA enables hospitals to provide a better surgical service to their patients and a less disruptive experience for their surgical teams.

This research has been performed by ORUA, part of the ORCA group.

“The combination of electronic bookings and The Robust Scheduler Tool should enable the hospital to manage surgical lists more efficiently with less wasted theatre time, less surgical overruns, less time with patients nil by mouth before their surgery. I endorse the research by Michael, Cameron, and the ORUA research group for scheduling surgical lists and believe it is valuable for the healthcare sector both in New Zealand and internationally.”

– Dr Jonathan Wallace, Medical Officer of Specialist Scale, Anaesthesia Services, Waitemata District Health Board Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA)