ED Nurse Location Assignment Tool
Nurse assignment is a daily task at the St. Michael's Hospital emergency department (ED). The task involves assigning scheduled nurses to work in various roles and locations within the ED. The objective of the task is to minimize the number of times that any individual nurse is repeatedly assigned to the same role or location within the same series of shifts, while ensuring that each role or location is assigned the number of personnel required, and each nurse is only assigned to roles or locations that they are qualified to fill. Repeat assignments are considered undesirable because nurses generally prefer variety in their assignments, and repetitions can be demoralizing as a result. Nurse assignment in the ED has traditionally been a manual task and is labour-intensive; on average, it took 1 to 1.5 hours to generate assignments for one day.
The objective of this project was to automate the daily ED nurse assignment process. The solution involved two parts. The first is to build a mathematical optimization model that produces a repetition-minimizing assignment of nurses for the upcoming series of shifts. Second is an interactive web application that facilitates daily use of the optimization model. Additionally, core functionalities surrounding the assignment process, such as schedule inputting and assignment record-keeping, were also included in the application to streamline the workflow of the ED nurses and administrative staff.