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A heuristic approach to the task planning problem in a home care business

Author

Listed:
  • Isabel Méndez-Fernández

    (University of A Coruña)

  • Silvia Lorenzo-Freire

    (University of A Coruña)

  • Ignacio García-Jurado

    (University of A Coruña)

  • Julián Costa

    (University of A Coruña)

  • Luisa Carpente

    (University of A Coruña)

Abstract

In this paper, we study a task scheduling problem in a home care business. The company has a set of supervisors in charge of scheduling the caregivers’ weekly plans. This can be a time-consuming task due to the large number of services they work with, as well as the need to consider user preferences, services required time windows and travel times between users’ homes. Apart from that, it is also important to have a continuity of care, i.e., that users generally prefer not to have their caregiver changed. This problem involves both route planning and employee task planning, which are usually very challenging. We first propose to model it using integer linear programming methodology. Since the real instances that the company needs to solve are very large, we design a heuristic algorithm, based on the simulated annealing philosophy, that allows the company to obtain the caregivers’ weekly schedules. Lastly, we check the algorithm’s good performance, by comparing the solutions it proposes with those provided by the integer linear programming methodology, in small size problems, and we present a case study to confirm that the algorithm correctly solves real-life instances.

Suggested Citation

  • Isabel Méndez-Fernández & Silvia Lorenzo-Freire & Ignacio García-Jurado & Julián Costa & Luisa Carpente, 2020. "A heuristic approach to the task planning problem in a home care business," Health Care Management Science, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 556-570, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:hcarem:v:23:y:2020:i:4:d:10.1007_s10729-020-09509-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s10729-020-09509-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maya Duque, P.A. & Castro, M. & Sörensen, K. & Goos, P., 2015. "Home care service planning. The case of Landelijke Thuiszorg," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 243(1), pages 292-301.
    2. Nickel, Stefan & Schröder, Michael & Steeg, Jörg, 2012. "Mid-term and short-term planning support for home health care services," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 219(3), pages 574-587.
    3. Braekers, Kris & Hartl, Richard F. & Parragh, Sophie N. & Tricoire, Fabien, 2016. "A bi-objective home care scheduling problem: Analyzing the trade-off between costs and client inconvenience," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 248(2), pages 428-443.
    4. Rasmussen, Matias Sevel & Justesen, Tor & Dohn, Anders & Larsen, Jesper, 2012. "The Home Care Crew Scheduling Problem: Preference-based visit clustering and temporal dependencies," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 219(3), pages 598-610.
    5. Klaus-Dieter Rest & Patrick Hirsch, 2016. "Daily scheduling of home health care services using time-dependent public transport," Flexible Services and Manufacturing Journal, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 495-525, September.
    6. Carello, Giuliana & Lanzarone, Ettore, 2014. "A cardinality-constrained robust model for the assignment problem in Home Care services," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 236(2), pages 748-762.
    7. Paraskevopoulos, Dimitris C. & Laporte, Gilbert & Repoussis, Panagiotis P. & Tarantilis, Christos D., 2017. "Resource constrained routing and scheduling: Review and research prospects," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 263(3), pages 737-754.
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