Campus Units

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Proceedings of the 2016 Industrial Engineering Research Conference

Conference Title

IIE Annual Conference

Conference Date



Surgery is a primary source of revenue in a hospital, and scheduling of surgery can significantly impact surgeons’ and patients’ satisfaction and thus revenue. The major objective in surgery scheduling is to minimize the amount of waiting time for patients and maximize the utilization of the operating rooms while considering the needs of surgeons. In this process, accurately estimating surgery durations is among the most important factors. Using data from a large Midwestern hospital, surgery duration estimations were compared to actual durations in a one-year period for the top surgeries. Statistically, a significant difference between actual and estimated durations has been identified. With the goal of decreasing the difference between the estimated and actual durations, multiple linear regression models were created for the most common surgeries and used to analyze the impact various characteristics of surgery cases have on the duration. Due to the high variability of the data, the regression method was not found particularly effective in identifying significant correlations in the input characteristics.


This is a proceeding published as Alexandra Olsen and Guiping Hu, “Statistical methods for surgery duration estimation,” Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference, May 2016. Posted with permission.

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