Boeing Team Creates Complex COVID-19 Nurse Schedule in a Week using FICO Optimization
- Boeing's crew solution team used its Jeppesen digital software and FICO® Xpress Optimization to produce a nursing schedule for
Karolinska University Hospital, the second largest hospital in Sweden
- The schedules for 300 nurses had to be completed in a week as the hospital ramped up its capacity to cope with the COVID-19 crisis
- Boeing's team has won the 2021 FICO® Decisions Award for AI, Machine Learning & Optimization
Boeing's market leading Jeppesen digital aviation software solved a crucial nurse scheduling problem for the intensive care unit (ICU) for
More information: https://www.fico.com/en/products/fico-xpress-solver
A Challenge with a Human Cost
The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic turned everything on its head, creating an immediate need to rapidly expand intensive care units, and challenged the existing employment practices and regulation. The virus was spreading throughout
In order to do so, a larger workforce was established by adding people from various other care units and a Swedish Crisis Agreement, which changed the regulation around working hours and salaries, was put into effect. Karolinska needed to create a plan to ensure that this much larger workforce, with a new work agreement, would operate safely and effectively. Additionally, the plan needed to be in place within a week to be able to produce schedules for the ICU's nurses and assistant nurses. The hospital approached Boeing's crew solution team in
"The biggest challenge, by far, was time," said
Optimization Solves Complex Problems Fast
When factoring in the labor rules of the Crisis Agreement, it became apparent that the Crisis Agreement work limits exceeded those at which a human being can work for an extended period of time. Therefore, it was essential to establish reasonable workloads and shift patterns. In the end, the structure ended up being two types of 12.5 hour overlapping shifts, meaning 56 per week. 7 different competence profiles were established, with minimum requirements per shift and an objective to maximize coverage.
"The resulting optimization problems fall into the class of NP-Hard in complexity theory, meaning one cannot expect to solve larger instances exactly in reasonable time," said
Once a first solution was produced, a joint Karolinska-Boeing solution team intensively refined the schedule over a few days and nights. This included determining what work patterns were possible, changing the problem slightly, re-running and producing a new solution. "None of this would have been possible without the speed, flexibility and robustness of the underlying optimization algorithm, of which FICO Xpress is an essential part," added Gustafsson.
The situation at Karolinska ICUs this spring was overwhelming and unprecedented. The staff were working at extreme levels, exposing and risking their health and life, but diligently coping with the influx of patients. "Expanding the ICU and quickly implementing Boeing's Jeppesen-optimized scheduling system enabled for more efficient, safer work and eased some of the burden the hospital faced through the height of the pandemic," said Roth. "It is hard to put a number on the benefits and performance of an effort like this, but we believe we have, in our own small way, contributed to battling the pandemic and supporting those on the frontlines."
"This is a fantastic use of optimization to solve one of the most pressing problems worldwide last year," said
"Boeing adapted its Jeppesen airline and railway scheduling optimization system to solve ICU nurse scheduling problems during the pandemic," said
About the FICO® Decisions Awards
The FICO Decisions Awards recognize organizations that are achieving remarkable success using FICO solutions. A panel of independent judges with deep industry expertise evaluates nominations based upon measurable improvement in key metrics; demonstrated use of best practices; project scale, depth and breadth; and innovative uses of technology. The 2021 judges are:
- Prasanna Dhoré, chief data & analytics and innovation officer, Equifax
David Dittmann, vice president, data & analytics, P&G (2019 winner)
- René Javier Guzmán, market & liquidity risks director at Banreservas (2019 winner)
Tomas Klinger, decision science and data director at Home Credit (2019 winner)
- Marcel Le Gouais, managing editor at Credit Strategy
Tiffani Montez, banking analyst at Aite Lisa Morgan, journalist & analyst at InformationWeek Ignazio Provinzano, head of risk operations at Swisscard (2019 winner)
The winners of the FICO Decisions Awards will be spotlighted at and win tickets to FICO® World 2021, the
FICO (NYSE: FICO) powers decisions that help people and businesses around the world prosper. Founded in 1956 and based in
Learn more at www.fico.com.
FICO is a registered trademark of
View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/boeing-team-creates-complex-covid-19-nurse-schedule-in-a-week-using-fico-optimization-301276280.html
FICO UK PR Team, Wendy Harrison/Parm Heer/Matthew Enderby, email@example.com, 0208 977 9132