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UVT college of Medicine Interfaces Article Paper

UVT college of Medicine Interfaces Article Paper -...

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Spreadsheet Modeling for Assigning Residents at the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine Operations research and management sciences have found many applications in the healthcare field. Specifically, one of the greatest uses of OR/MS in the healthcare industry is the management of the time and resources of physicians and nurses. Many OR/MS models of resource management in healthcare situations are written in obscure languages and are untested in the real world and are therefore only of academic use at the present. Because of the great ease of use and relatively minimal extra training time, healthcare institutions often choose to use specially designed scheduling software to manage personnel work schedules instead of adapting a theoretical model to their situation and solving for optimal conditions. The high cost of purchasing, training users, and operating these scheduling software packages is nearly always outweighed by their ability to produce accurate and useful schedules quickly and efficiently. An alternative to using obscure models or expensive scheduling software in the healthcare industry is to develop and implement a spreadsheet model that can be rapidly changed based on current conditions. Because of the low cost of spreadsheet software, its ease of use, and the relatively little training required to build and use spreadsheet models, this is a highly attractive alternative in many organizations. The paper, “Spreadsheet Model Helps to Assign Medical Residents at the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine” by Anton Ovchinnikov and Joseph Milner describes the design and implementation of a spreadsheet model to schedule medical residents in the radiology department of the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine, and the impacts it had on the institution. In 2006, Rachel F. Gerson, MD, Chief Resident in Radiology at the University of Vermont College of Medicine approached Dr. Ovchinnikov and Dr. Milner, professors of OR/MS at the University of Virginia and the University of Toronto respectively, to help her find an effective way of scheduling shifts for 15 residents in radiology under her administration. Traditionally the Chief Resident, who is responsible for this scheduling, completed this task using a time tabling chart and a pencil. This method
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