SCOPES: System of Concepts for Optimization and Personalization of Endoscopy


Faculty/Clinicians/Staff: Amy Cohn, Sameer Saini, Jacob Kurlander

Students: Hassan Abbas, Henry Ballout, Jackson Bennett, Sara Cahn, Daniel Cao, Ajaay Chandrasekaran, Palaniappan Chellappan, John Cima, Victoria Glunt, Heather Hawkins, Trevor Hoffman, Daniel Huang, Jakob Kiel-Locey, Federico Kulyckyj, Ryan Lentine, Abhilash Raa, Bassel Salka, Meng Sang, Stephanie See, Karmel  Shehadeh, Pranjal Singh, Pushpendra (Ishu) Singh, Emily Snitchler, William Yang, Bill Zhang, Brittany Lopez, Chhavi Chaudhry

Project Contact: [email protected]

Project Synopsis:

Colorectal cancer is the most common cancer in both men and women nationwide and is the second leading cause of cancer death in the US. Colonoscopy is one of the methods used to detect this type of cancer and has been shown to reduce the mortality rate by more than 50%. When scheduling Colonoscopy appointment in Endoscopy Clinics, complexity is introduced by the many sources of variability within the system including the uncertainty of arrivals and patient attendance. If patients are scheduled for too short of an appointment, this delays the next appointment and increases patient waiting and provider overtime. If patients are scheduled for too long of an appointment, providers are left with idle time and the capacity of the clinic is underused. The tradeoffs between patient access, quality of care, resource management and utilization, and patient and provider satisfaction make the scheduling of colonoscopies challenging.

To address these operational challenges, the team has designed an optimization-based scheduling tool. Particular attention is paid to the competing schedule metrics, including patient delays, clinic overtime, procedure outcomes, and access time. We also developed an integrated simulation tool for scheduling colonoscopies, which evaluates the scheduling templates and policies concurrently with operational performance of the resulting schedules to understand the tradeoffs. The aim is to find the best ways to schedule colonoscopies while considering criteria such as patient satisfaction, clinic utilization, appointment lead time, appointment delay, staff overtime, and clinical outcomes.

Papers, Posters, & Presentations:


  • Analysis of Models for the Stochastic Outpatient Procedure Scheduling Problem.” Shehadeh, K.S., Cohn, A., Epelman, M., European Journal of Operational Research, Volume 279, Issue 3, 16 December 2019, Pages 721-731.
  • “Using Stochastic Programming to Solve the Outpatient Appointment Scheduling Problem with Random Service and Arrival Times.” Shehadeh, K.S., Cohn, A., Jiang, R. (Under review).
  • “A Distributionally Robust Optimization Approach for Outpatient Colonoscopy Scheduling.” Shehadeh, K.S., Cohn, A., Jiang, R. (Under review).