Spaarne Gasthuis of the Future

The health care industry faces various challenges, such as an aging population, more patients, and limited staff, all of which contribute to increased costs and scheduling inefficiency. One of the most important facilities in the hospital, and one that accounts for a large part of any hospital’s expenditure and revenue, is the operation room (OR) where increased costs and scheduling inefficiency are the most apparent. This facility is highly complex and unpredictable, involving many stakeholders. Therefore, our client, Spaarne Gasthuis, is interested in ways of optimizing the OR for their new hospital that is going to be built in Haarlem over the next 7 years. The brand-new building and adapting to the current healthcare challenges are a window of opportunity for the hospital to rethink its current strategy. The goal of our project is to first identify potential bottlenecks and hurdles that can occur within the patient journey to the OR and post OR-stages. Preliminary interviews with experts at Spaarne Gasthuis have indicate there is an inflow problem, particularly surrounding the holding area. The holding area is the area in which patients are kept temporarily, prior to being transferred to the OR. Special attention will be paid to this inflow area in our project. Once the main bottlenecks and problems surrounding the OR are clear, we want to explore possible solutions. We will conceptualize solutions that are based more in a communicative or process related approach. Furthermore, we will explore the possibilities of where artificial intelligence (AI) can be implemented to optimize the patient journey to the OR. We hope to develop a prototype of this AI solution ourselves! We are excited to dive into this question, motivated by a passion and appreciation for healthcare, as well as enthusiasm to apply our scientific background to a practical problem.