Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 194121020
Optimization of Healthcare Processes
Course infoSchedule
Course module194121020
Credits (ECTS)5
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact E.W. Hans
Contactperson for the course E.W. Hans
Examiner E.W. Hans
Academic year2022
Starting block
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes
This course aims at IEM (PLM and HCTM tracks) and AM (OR tracks) students who have knowledge of operations research techniques like discrete event simulation, queuing theory, and combinatorial optimization, and who want to expand this knowledge and gain experience in applying these techniques in a practical context of high societal importance: healthcare.

This challenge-based course is centered around a serious/business game called the Operating Room Management Game. Students, in groups of two, are given 4 challenging assignments to configure, plan and schedule their own (virtual) operating room department. The 4 assignments in this business game constitute 80% of the final grade. A reflection report constitutes 20% of the final grade. The 4 assignments and the accompanying (guest) lectures have the following learning objectives:
  1. Gather knowledge about the developments of Operations Management in the Healthcare context
  2. Develop a strategy for the design of the planning and control of an actual process, based on a hierarchical framework for planning and control
  3. Implement and optimize capacity planning and control functions in a practical context
  4. Improve skills of applying advanced ICT applications and programming techniques in the context of  planning, scheduling, simulation, and benchmarking
  5. Writing management reports
  6. Performance measuring, analysis and benchmarking of quantitative and qualitative data (using a.o. the Data Envelopment Analysis benchmarking technique)
  7. Critical evaluation of synthesis of all topics in a business game (serious game) context
Optimization of healthcare processes has received much attention in recent years, due to the ageing population, increased healthcare expenditures and the capacity challenges imposed by pandemics like COVID-19. In research, the University of Twente plays an important role in the development of models and techniques for health care process optimization using advanced operations research techniques (see: Based on these recent developments, this course familiarizes the students with the useful tools for process optimization, planning and scheduling, simulation, and performance benchmarking, particularly in the context of healthcare processes. 

Aside from the application of techniques learnt in previous master courses (e.g. Simulation, OR Techniques, Planning & Scheduling, Data Science), this course discusses additional techniques particularly useful in process modeling, performance analysis and optimization. These subjects are dealt with in lectures and in several (mandatory) guest lectures from field experts. In addition, students will get hands-on experience with implementing optimization techniques in a case study during exercise classes, using tools such as Delphi (4GL programming language), Plant Simulation (discrete event simulation), and AIMMS (mathematical programming/modeling and optimization software). Students must be familiar with programming and discrete event simulation (Plant Simulation). Students (AM) who have (e.g. C++) programming skills and discrete event simulation experience, may also participate in this course, but are recommended to contact the lecturer for some instructions:
This challenge-based course is centered around a serious/business game called the Operating Room Management Game. Students, in groups of two, are given 4 challenging assignments to configure, plan and schedule their own (virtual) operating room department. The final grade is composed of the assignment grades and a grade for an individual reflection report. Guest lectures (mandatory) by clinicians, healthcare managers, and alumni introduce students to the breadth of healthcare operations research & management, give inspiration for the challenging assignments, and for future career options.

The specific subjects may vary a bit every year, depending on current research and guest lecture subjects. A selection of (possible) subjects: generic framework for hospital planning and control, simulation of health care processes, operating room planning and scheduling, staff scheduling, benchmarking, DEA (Data Envelopment Analysis), Emergency care planning, material coordination (purchasing- / warehousing-subjects).
Assumed previous knowledge
verplicht: 191820200, 191820210 (for AM students alternative courses are accepted, please contact the lecturer)
Participating study
Master Industrial Engineering and Management
Participating study
Master Applied Mathematics
Required materials
Recommended materials
Course material
A selection of scientific articles, reports, and excerpts from books. Extensive PowerPoint slides.
Instructional modes
Presence dutyYes

Presence dutyYes

Reflection report

Kies de Nederlandse taal