‘A decision support framework for home health care transportation with simultaneous multi-vehicle routing and staff scheduling synchronization’
by Jamal Abdul Nasir
The University of Hong Kong
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Due to the ageing population and the prevalence of chronic diseases, Home Health Care (HHC) practices are significantly increasing in developed countries to provide coordinated health related services to patients at their homes. Accordingly, the scope of HHC services is also expanding from typical nursing and postoperative care at home to cover all types of needs of elderly patients (e.g., personal care, drug delivery and meal services). This paper aims to address the pressing demand for HHC services and develop a novel and effective mathematical model and solution methodology for supporting health care service delivery decisions. Our decision support framework captures the real needs of HHC services, including the challenges of creating simultaneous schedules and route plans for a set of HHC staff and Home Delivery Vehicles (HDVs) under the requirements of synchronization between HHC staff and HDVs visits, multiple visits to patients, multiple routes of HDVs and pickup/delivery visits related precedence for HDVs. A Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) model is developed to characterize the optimization problem. Considering the computational complexity of the problem, a Hybrid Genetic Algorithm (HGA) is proposed to suggest HHC planning decisions. The model formulation and proposed HGA are examined on real-life instances for demonstrating its practicality and randomly generated test instances for assessing the scalability of the proposed approach. The results show the effectiveness and efficiency of our solution methodology. Experimental results indicate that the proposed algorithm provided a good performance even with an increasing number of required synchronized services, whereas the heuristic tactics facilitate the HGA to produce better-quality solutions in a significantly shorter time. Our framework is expected to contribute to an important aspect of shared healthcare mobility.
Bio: Jamal Abdul Nasir is a Post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at the University of Hong Kong. He received his B.Sc. degree in Industrial Engineering and Management from the University of the Punjab, Pakistan and M.S. degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea. Dr. Nasir earned his Ph.D. in Systems Engineering and Engineering Management from the City University of Hong Kong. During the period, he also worked as an Industrial Engineer at Interloop Limited, Pakistan. His current research interests include systems modeling and optimization, health care service delivery, supply chain systems and transportation planning. He tends to work on application-oriented research problems that try to bring cutting-edge research ideas to mainstream practice. His research draws tools from operations research, predictive analytics and queuing theory