operations research


Summary: A group of techniques developed to apply scientific methods and tools to solve the problems of DECISION MAKING in complex organizations and systems. Operations research searches for optimal solutions in situations of conflicting GOALS and makes use of mathematical models from which solutions for actual problems may be derived. (From Psychiatric Dictionary, 6th ed)

Top Publications

  1. Harries A, Maher D, Nunn P. An approach to the problems of diagnosing and treating adult smear-negative pulmonary tuberculosis in high-HIV-prevalence settings in sub-Saharan Africa. Bull World Health Organ. 1998;76:651-62 pubmed
    ..Nevertheless, substantial improvement could be obtained by implementing the effective measures already available, such as improved adherence to diagnostic and treatment guidelines. ..
  2. Zachariah R, Tayler Smith K, Ngamvithayapong Yana J, Ota M, Murakami K, Ohkado A, et al. The published research paper: is it an important indicator of successful operational research at programme level?. Trop Med Int Health. 2010;15:1274-7 pubmed
    ..We present arguments to support publishing operational research from low-income countries; we highlight some of the main reasons for failure of publication at programme level and suggest ways forward. ..
  3. Cooper D, Cahn P, Lewin S, Kaldor J, McClure C, Kort R, et al. The Sydney Declaration: a call to scale up research. Lancet. 2007;370:7-8 pubmed
  4. Harries A, Rusen I, Reid T, Detjen A, Berger S, Bissell K, et al. The Union and Médecins Sans Frontières approach to operational research. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2011;15:144-54, i pubmed
  5. Brailsford S. Overcoming the barriers to implementation of operations research simulation models in healthcare. Clin Invest Med. 2005;28:312-5 pubmed
    Since the 1960s, Operations Research models have been applied to a range of healthcare problems...
  6. Rajbhandari S, Hodgins S, Sanghvi H, McPherson R, Pradhan Y, Baqui A. Expanding uterotonic protection following childbirth through community-based distribution of misoprostol: operations research study in Nepal. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2010;108:282-8 pubmed publisher
  7. Laserson K, Binkin N, Thorpe L, Laing R, Iademarco M, Bloom A, et al. Capacity building for international tuberculosis control through operations research training. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2005;9:145-50 pubmed
    ..To present a model course for building capacity in basic epidemiology and operations research (OR)...
  8. Connelly L, Bair A. Discrete event simulation of emergency department activity: a platform for system-level operations research. Acad Emerg Med. 2004;11:1177-85 pubmed
    ..A comparative study of triage methods suggests that ART provides a mix of benefits and drawbacks, but further investigation will be required to substantiate these preliminary findings. ..
  9. Jacobson S, Sewell E, Allwine D, Medina E, Weniger B. Designing pediatric vaccine formularies and pricing pediatric combination vaccines using operations research models and algorithms. Expert Rev Vaccines. 2003;2:15-9 pubmed
    ..This review discusses how operations research models can be used to address the economics of pediatric vaccine formulary design and pricing, as well as ..

More Information


  1. Geller S, Carnahan L, Akosah E, Asare G, Agyemang R, Dickson R, et al. Community-based distribution of misoprostol to prevent postpartum haemorrhage at home births: results from operations research in rural Ghana. BJOG. 2014;121:319-25 pubmed publisher
    ..b>Operations research. Rural Ghana...
  2. Xiong W, Hupert N, Hollingsworth E, O Brien M, Fast J, Rodriguez W. Can modeling of HIV treatment processes improve outcomes? Capitalizing on an operations research approach to the global pandemic. BMC Health Serv Res. 2008;8:166 pubmed publisher
    ..We describe the application of classic operations research (OR) techniques to address logistical and resource management challenges in HIV treatment scale-up ..
  3. Harries A. Integration of operational research into National Tuberculosis Control Programmes. Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2003;83:143-7 pubmed
    ..Finally, there should be strong advocacy for operational research, so that government policy makers can be convinced of its value. ..
  4. Singogo E, Kanike E, Van Lettow M, Cataldo F, Zachariah R, Bissell K, et al. Village registers for vital registration in rural Malawi. Trop Med Int Health. 2013;18:1021-4 pubmed publisher
  5. Baesler F, Martinez C, Yaksic E, Herrera C. [Logistic and production process in a regional blood center: modeling and analysis]. Rev Med Chil. 2011;139:1150-6 pubmed publisher
  6. Fenton E, Harvey J, Sturt J. Evaluating primary care research networks. Health Serv Manage Res. 2007;20:162-73 pubmed
    ..If there is a good fit or congruence between their input factors and network objectives, networks will be internally coherent and able to operate at optimum effectiveness. ..
  7. Lillrank P, Groop P, Malmström T. Demand and supply-based operating modes--a framework for analyzing health care service production. Milbank Q. 2010;88:595-615 pubmed publisher
    ..The DSO modes bring methods of industrial management to bear on efforts to improve health care. ..
  8. Werner A, Signorelli P. The Hospital Overall Flow Scorecard: an innovative tool in patient flow. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2006;32:703-7 pubmed
  9. Hoot N, LeBlanc L, Jones I, Levin S, Zhou C, Gadd C, et al. Forecasting emergency department crowding: a prospective, real-time evaluation. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2009;16:338-45 pubmed publisher
    ..The real-time deployment of the system should be feasible at other emergency departments that have six patient-level variables available through information systems. ..
  10. Chand S, Moskowitz H, Norris J, Shade S, Willis D. Improving patient flow at an outpatient clinic: study of sources of variability and improvement factors. Health Care Manag Sci. 2009;12:325-40 pubmed
    ..The clinic has implemented several of our recommendations and experienced significant improvements. ..
  11. Mól A, Jorge C, Couto P. Using a game engine for VR simulations in evacuation planning. IEEE Comput Graph Appl. 2008;28:6-12 pubmed
  12. Foster E, Hosking M, Ziya S. A spoonful of math helps the medicine go down: an illustration of how healthcare can benefit from mathematical modeling and analysis. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2010;10:60 pubmed publisher
    ..Tools for such analysis have been developed over decades by researchers in Operations Research (OR). An OR perspective typically frames a complex problem in terms of its essential mathematical structure...
  13. . Data processing in clinical pathology. Report of a working party of the Association of Clinical pathologists. J Clin Pathol. 1968;21:231-301 pubmed
  14. Schoomaker E. Military medical research on cognitive performance: the warfighter's competitive edge. Aviat Space Environ Med. 2007;78:B4-6 pubmed
  15. Uddin J, Koehlmoos T, Saha N, Islam Z, Khan I, Quaiyum M. Strategies for providing healthcare services to street-dwellers in Dhaka city: evidence from an operations research. Health Res Policy Syst. 2012;10:19 pubmed publisher
    ..As the findings of the study showed the promise of this approach, the strategies could be implemented in all other cities of Bangladesh and in other countries which encounter similar problems. ..
  16. Trisolini M. Applying business management models in health care. Int J Health Plann Manage. 2002;17:295-314 pubmed
    ..In sum, each of the five models is shown to provide a useful perspective for health care management. Health care managers should gain experience and training with a broader set of business management models. ..
  17. MacPhee M, Wardrop A, Campbell C. Transforming work place relationships through shared decision making. J Nurs Manag. 2010;18:1016-26 pubmed publisher
    ..Formal access to power through leadership is critical for building and sustaining processes that promote and sustain nurses' control over practice. ..
  18. Pandey A, Rathod H. Integration of leprosy into GHS in India: a follow up study (2006-2007). Lepr Rev. 2010;81:306-17 pubmed
    ..Ninety percent of clients in Kerala and 38.0% in Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh did not get MDT in the nearest health facilities or sub-centres. ..
  19. Thunhurst C. Public health systems analysis--the transfer of learning between developed and developing countries. Health Care Manag Sci. 2012;15:283-91 pubmed publisher
  20. Zai A, Kim S, Kamis A, Hung K, Ronquillo J, Chueh H, et al. Applying operations research to optimize a novel population management system for cancer screening. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2014;21:e129-35 pubmed publisher
    To optimize a new visit-independent, population-based cancer screening system (TopCare) by using operations research techniques to simulate changes in patient outreach staffing levels (delegates, navigators), modifications to user ..
  21. Charyeva Z, Cannon M, Oguntunde O, Garba A, Sambisa W, Bassi A, et al. Reducing the burden of diarrhea among children under five years old: lessons learned from oral rehydration therapy corner program implementation in Northern Nigeria. J Health Popul Nutr. 2015;34:4 pubmed publisher
    ..The operations research study examined the effect of facility-based ORT corners on caregivers' knowledge and skills in management ..
  22. Taegtmeyer M, Hightower A, Opiyo W, Mwachiro L, Henderson K, Angala P, et al. A peer-led HIV counselling and testing programme for the deaf in Kenya. Disabil Rehabil. 2009;31:508-14 pubmed publisher
    ..This is the first published report describing HIV services run by the Deaf for the Deaf in the developing world. ..
  23. Narayanan P, Garg R, Santha T, Kumaran P. Shifting the focus of tuberculosis research in India. Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2003;83:135-42 pubmed
    ..Greater networking is needed among national researchers, programme managers and policy-makers to translate the findings of research into policies and programmes to make TB control in India more effective and efficient. ..
  24. Kamau E. Intergrating operational research in scaling up malaria control interventions in the African region: a practical perspective. East Afr Med J. 2005;82:160-2 pubmed
  25. Dexter F. Why calculating PACU staffing is so hard and why/how operations research specialists can help. J Perianesth Nurs. 2007;22:357-9 pubmed
  26. Helm C, Holladay C, Tortorella F. The performance management system: applying and evaluating a pay-for-performance initiative. J Healthc Manag. 2007;52:49-62; discussion 62-3 pubmed
    ..This recognition is important as organizations try to retain their top talent and improve the performance of all employees in an effort to positively influence the patient experience. ..
  27. Doan B, Caldwell J, Hursh S, Whitmore J, O Donnell R, Russo M. Assessing psychoactive pharmaceuticals and transitioning pharmacological fatigue countermeasures into operational environments. Aviat Space Environ Med. 2005;76:C34-8 pubmed
  28. Carneal G, David B. Recent medical management trends. Lippincotts Case Manag. 2006;11:52-7 pubmed
  29. Morrison K. Current trends in trauma registry the role of the systems analyst. J Trauma Nurs. 2004;11:75-8 pubmed
  30. Maher D, Harries A, Nachega J, Jaffar S. Methodology matters: what type of research is suitable for evaluating community treatment supporters for HIV and tuberculosis treatment?. Trop Med Int Health. 2012;17:264-71 pubmed publisher
  31. Jarrett P. An analysis of international health care logistics: the benefits and implications of implementing just-in-time systems in the health care industry. Int J Health Care Qual Assur Inc Leadersh Health Serv. 2006;19:i-x pubmed
    ..The analysis was conducted in a systematic manner and compared the anticipated benefits with benefits validated in other industries from the implementation of JIT. ..
  32. Hassan S, Sundby J, Husseini A, Bjertness E. Translating evidence into practice in childbirth: a case from the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Women Birth. 2013;26:e82-9 pubmed publisher
    ..A combination of on-the-job training with other interactive approaches increased midwives' awareness, capacities and self-confidence to implement fewer interventions during normal labour. ..
  33. Djellal F, Gallouj F. Innovation in hospitals: a survey of the literature. Eur J Health Econ. 2007;8:181-93 pubmed
    ..This approach makes it possible to extend the model of hospital innovation to incorporate new forms of innovation and new actors in the innovation process, in accordance with the Schumpeterian tradition of openness. ..
  34. Guerriero F, Guido R. Operational research in the management of the operating theatre: a survey. Health Care Manag Sci. 2011;14:89-114 pubmed publisher
    ..Directions for future researches are also highlighted. ..
  35. Abdel Tawab N, RamaRao S. Do improvements in client-provider interaction increase contraceptive continuation? Unraveling the puzzle. Patient Educ Couns. 2010;81:381-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Moreover, interventions to improve CPI should also address contextual and health system factors that prevent clients from using family planning consistently and effectively. ..
  36. Proenca E. Team dynamics and team empowerment in health care organizations. Health Care Manage Rev. 2007;32:370-8 pubmed
  37. Hoot N, LeBlanc L, Jones I, Levin S, Zhou C, Gadd C, et al. Forecasting emergency department crowding: a discrete event simulation. Ann Emerg Med. 2008;52:116-25 pubmed publisher
    ..86). By modeling patient flow, rather than operational summary variables, our simulation forecasts several measures of near-future ED crowding, with various degrees of good performance. ..
  38. Tucker A, Singer S, Hayes J, Falwell A. Front-line staff perspectives on opportunities for improving the safety and efficiency of hospital work systems. Health Serv Res. 2008;43:1807-29 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, prioritizing improvement of work systems in general, rather than focusing more narrowly on specific clinical conditions, can increase safety and efficiency of hospitals. ..
  39. Tompa E, Robson L, Sarnocinska Hart A, Klassen R, Shevchenko A, Sharma S, et al. Managing Safety and Operations: The Effect of Joint Management System Practices on Safety and Operational Outcomes. J Occup Environ Med. 2016;58:e80-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Safety and operations appear complementary in organizations with JMS practices in that there is no penalty for either safety or operational outcomes. ..
  40. Kumar A. Operations research in HIV/AIDS. J Evid Based Soc Work. 2013;10:353-7 pubmed publisher
    b>Operations research is mainly applied to decision making in industries and corporations using quantitative methods to optimize production...
  41. Sapuła R. [The use of operation research tools as a way of more effective utilization of the resources of health service institutions]. Wiad Lek. 2002;55 Suppl 1:440-3 pubmed
    ..One of the sciences concerned with in evaluating managers' decisions is operations research. Summing up, operations research deals with the problem of how to gain means and use resources in the most ..
  42. Simmons M. Complexity theory in the management of communicable diseases. J Hosp Infect. 2003;54:87-92 pubmed
    ..A similar approach is recommended to others in the field, while complexity management probably has wider applications in the NHS, not least in relation to the developing managed clinical networks. ..
  43. Gallivan S. Challenging the role of calibration, validation and sensitivity analysis in relation to models of health care processes. Health Care Manag Sci. 2008;11:208-13 pubmed
    ..If calibration and sensitivity analysis are to be carried out, there is a need to be clear about what the objective is in such analyses. ..
  44. Silva J, Camarotto J. Human reliability in petrochemical industry: an action research. Work. 2012;41 Suppl 1:3325-32 pubmed publisher
    ..However, it was evident the fundamental role of the worker as an agent of maintenance and construction of system reliability during the action research cycle. ..
  45. Raju M, Rao P. Sustainability of integrated leprosy services in rural India: perceptions of community leaders in Uttar Pradesh. Indian J Lepr. 2011;83:87-93 pubmed
    ..There were no differences by men or women members and they felt that lack of proper facilities, training and orientation of staff are most influencing factors. Many suggestions were given for improving the sustainability. ..
  46. McNamara P. Purchaser strategies to influence quality of care: from rhetoric to global applications. Qual Saf Health Care. 2006;15:171-3 pubmed
    ..Public and private funders of operations research are encouraged to support and disseminate evaluations of purchaser efforts to improve quality...
  47. Nash W, Vasterling J, Ewing Cobbs L, Horn S, Gaskin T, Golden J, et al. Consensus recommendations for common data elements for operational stress research and surveillance: report of a federal interagency working group. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2010;91:1673-83 pubmed publisher
  48. Kruse A. Operational neuroscience: neurophysiological measures in applied environments. Aviat Space Environ Med. 2007;78:B191-4 pubmed
    ..It is our hope that the discussion of this new field of study will galvanize others to increase the confidence and utility of this research through their own investigations. ..
  49. Zhang N, Wan T. Effects of institutional mechanisms on nursing home quality. J Health Hum Serv Adm. 2007;29:380-408 pubmed
    ..An interaction effect between the regulatory mechanism and nurse staffing is statistically significant. The findings lend support to the importance of multi-level analysis of nursing home quality. ..
  50. Egan T, Jaye C. Communities of clinical practice: the social organization of clinical learning. Health (London). 2009;13:107-25 pubmed publisher
  51. Qu X, Peng Y, Kong N, Shi J. A two-phase approach to scheduling multi-category outpatient appointments--a case study of a women's clinic. Health Care Manag Sci. 2013;16:197-216 pubmed publisher
    ..In addition, our results suggest that the best suboptimal scheduling templates found become more sensitive to the weighting coefficients of the time-based measures as the provider workload increases. ..
  52. Iribarren D, Vázquez Rowe I, Moreira M, Feijoo G. Further potentials in the joint implementation of life cycle assessment and data envelopment analysis. Sci Total Environ. 2010;408:5265-72 pubmed publisher
    ..These further potentials are explained and demonstrated via the presentation of brief case studies based on real data sets. ..
  53. Brooks R, Etzel M, Klosinski L, Leibowitz A, Sawires S, Szekeres G, et al. Male circumcision and HIV prevention: looking to the future. AIDS Behav. 2010;14:1203-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Advocates of male circumcision would benefit from research on how to influence health policy-makers, how best to communicate the benefits to the public, and how to design effective delivery models. ..