A heuristic approach to improving the design of nurse training schedules

Nooriafshar, Mehryar (1995) A heuristic approach to improving the design of nurse training schedules. European Journal of Operational Research, 81 (1). pp. 50-61. ISSN 0377-2217


The transitional period simulation program (TRANSIM) along with its supporting data base programs constitute a package which has been developed as part of the author's PhD. research. The software has been written in such a way that it can readily, with minimal modification, be transferred to any computer which supports BASIC. The system can simulate staffing levels of trainee nurses on wards, and identify overstaffings and understaffings. The results are produced in graphical format which will make it easy for the user to evaluate. Although the package has been designed specially for simulating staffing levels during the transition period, it can also be used to predict the combined effect of a number of existing concurrent courses of different types on the staffing levels of the hospital wards. An extended version of the simulation program incorporates the ideas of expert systems; and the software algorithm uses experiential or judgemental knowledge of the allocation officers to produce possible plans of action for re-scheduling the training courses in such a way that minimal overstaffings and understaffings on wards are achieved. An approach similar to that of Ernst and Newell's Mean Ends analysis of GPS was adopted, and a constraint directed reasoning approach was used to reduce the difference between the initial and the goal states, to achieve satisfactory solutions. The experience gained from developing TRANSIM has led to further work and research in the general area of scheduling and resource allocation.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business - Department of Economics and Resource Management
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2012 08:19
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2016 05:03
Uncontrolled Keywords: allocation; training schedule; block; transition period; simulation; TRANSIM; judgemental knowledge; means ends analysis
Fields of Research : 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150301 Business Information Management (incl. Records, Knowledge and Information Management, and Intelligence)
08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0801 Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing > 080110 Simulation and Modelling
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970108 Expanding Knowledge in the Information and Computing Sciences
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/22232

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