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Asia-Pacific Journal of Operational Research








In home health care, continuity of care, wherein a patient is always visited by the same nurse, can be just as important as cost, as it is closely correlated to quality of care. While a patient typically receives care for two to three months, such that assigning a nurse to a patient impacts operations for lengthy periods of time, previous research focusing on continuity of care uses planning horizons that are often a week or shorter. This paper computationally demonstrates that considering a long planning horizon in this setting has significant potential for savings. Initially, a deterministic setting is considered, with all patient requests during the planning horizon known a priori, and the routing cost of planning for two to three months is compared with the cost when planning is done on a weekly basis. With inherent uncertainty in planning for such a long time horizon, a methodology is presented that anticipates future patient requests that are unknown at the time of planning. Computational evidence shows that its use is superior to planning on a weekly basis under uncertainty.


Author Posting. © 2016, World Scientific Publishing Co. & Operational Research Society of Singapore. This is the author's pre-review version of the work. It is posted here by permission of World Scientific Publishing Co. & Operational Research Society of Singapore for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Mike Hewitt, Maciek Nowak, and Nisha Nataraj, Asia Pac. J. Oper. Res. 33, 1650041 (2016) [26 pages]

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