Computer-assisted decision making, Hospital personnel, Nurse management, Nurse staffing and scheduling



  1. Gradisar, Mirko PhD
  2. Turk, Tomaz PhD
  3. Perme Hajdinjak, Janja MSc
  4. Tomat, Luka PhD


Repeatedly solving nurse scheduling problems is one of the most difficult and time-consuming tasks for nurse managers. Although software solutions exist to solve nurse scheduling problems automatically, they are limited to cases in which scheduling rules can be easily formalized and are relatively stable. In other cases, nurse scheduling problems must be solved manually. Thus, this article proposes a new general method for solving nurse scheduling problems that overcomes the limitations of existing methods by introducing human-computer interaction. The solution is based on not only the computer's algorithmic logic but also the nurse manager's knowledge and experiences. We tested the method in a large hospital. The results show that our method also can be used for cases in which fully automated nurse scheduling is not feasible and that it performs better than manual scheduling. In addition, the time spent on scheduling decreased by 80%, and nurse satisfaction with the schedule increased.