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Optimal Resourcing and Patient Scheduling for the Multidisciplinary Bariatric Survey Program

Research Domain: 
Systems Engineering
Community Partner: 
Mayo Clinic
Student Researchers: 
Andrew Upjohn, John O’Donnell, and Niabari Deeyor
Faculty Mentor: 
Cristi Coursen

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 78.6 million U.S. adults are obese (Body Mass Index greater than 30). Bariatric surgical procedures have become a “preferred” way to treat obesity related coexisting medical conditions. Health benefits of bariatric surgical procedures include reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, significant and sustainable weight loss, and an overall increase in the quality of life. Mayo Clinic has become one of the top academic medical centers to offer bariatric surgical procedures. At Mayo Clinic, patients must undergo a bariatric program that includes medical, psychological, dietary, and other evaluations that should last on average about eight weeks prior to the bariatric surgical procedure. There is a system problem, however, of scheduling bariatric surgical procedures. If a patient cancels or reschedules any bariatric-related appointments without time buffers, the patient’s time in the bariatric program is extended. Currently, the bariatric program at Mayo Clinic lasts on average about twenty-seven weeks, which has negative outcomes for both patients and clinicians. The purpose of the study is to identify scheduling bottlenecks in the bariatric program and decrease the current length of the bariatric program. The goal of the study is to create a bariatric surgery scheduling system that is able to accommodate variability with patients, optimize the operating rooms and providers’ availability, and enhance patient care in the Bariatric Program at Mayo Clinic.