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Article
Publication date: 30 December 2019

Daniela Fishbein, Siddhartha Nambiar, Kendall McKenzie, Maria Mayorga, Kristen Miller, Kevin Tran, Laura Schubel, Joseph Agor, Tracy Kim and Muge Capan

Workload is a critical concept in the evaluation of performance and quality in healthcare systems, but its definition relies on the perspective (e.g. individual…

Abstract

Purpose

Workload is a critical concept in the evaluation of performance and quality in healthcare systems, but its definition relies on the perspective (e.g. individual clinician-level vs unit-level workload) and type of available metrics (e.g. objective vs subjective measures). The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of objective measures of workload associated with direct care delivery in tertiary healthcare settings, with a focus on measures that can be obtained from electronic records to inform operationalization of workload measurement.

Design/methodology/approach

Relevant papers published between January 2008 and July 2018 were identified through a search in Pubmed and Compendex databases using the Sample, Phenomenon of Interest, Design, Evaluation, Research Type framework. Identified measures were classified into four levels of workload: task, patient, clinician and unit.

Findings

Of 30 papers reviewed, 9 used task-level metrics, 14 used patient-level metrics, 7 used clinician-level metrics and 20 used unit-level metrics. Key objective measures of workload include: patient turnover (n=9), volume of patients (n=6), acuity (n=6), nurse-to-patient ratios (n=5) and direct care time (n=5). Several methods for operationalization of these metrics into measurement tools were identified.

Originality/value

This review highlights the key objective workload measures available in electronic records that can be utilized to develop an operational approach for quantifying workload. Insights gained from this review can inform the design of processes to track workload and mitigate the effects of increased workload on patient outcomes and clinician performance.

Details

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2006

S. Rajakumar, V.P. Arunachalam and V. Selladurai

To propose a methodology based on genetic algorithm (GA) to solve the parallel machine scheduling problems with precedence constraints.

Abstract

Purpose

To propose a methodology based on genetic algorithm (GA) to solve the parallel machine scheduling problems with precedence constraints.

Design/methodology/approach

Workflow balancing helps to remove bottlenecks present in a shop floor yielding faster movements of components or jobs. Multiple machines are used in parallel for processing the jobs to meet the demand. In parallel machine scheduling with precedence constraints, there are m machines to which n jobs are assigned using suitable scheduling algorithms. Workflow of a machine is the sum of processing time of all jobs assigned. All the preceding jobs are allocated first to satisfy the constraints. GA is developed to solve parallel machine scheduling problems with precedence constraints based on the objective of workflow balancing. The GA was coded on IBM/PC compatible system in the C++ language for simulation to a standard manufacturing environment.

Findings

The relative percentage of imbalance (RPI) in workloads among the parallel machines is used to evaluate the performance of the GA developed. The proposed GA produces lesser RPI values against the RANDOM heuristic algorithm for a wider range of jobs and machines.

Research limitations/implications

The performance of GA can be compared with the performance of other meta‐heuristic algorithms to find out the robustness of the results obtained by this research.

Practical implications

The proposed GA also gives better solution for a case study of assembly scheduling.

Originality/value

The allocation of assembly operations to the operators is modeled into a parallel machine scheduling problem with precedence constraints using the objective of minimizing the workflow among the operators.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 27 August 2019

Masood Fathi, Amir Nourmohammadi, Amos H.C. Ng, Anna Syberfeldt and Hamidreza Eskandari

This study aims to propose an efficient optimization algorithm to solve the assembly line balancing problem (ALBP). The ALBP arises in high-volume, lean production systems…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to propose an efficient optimization algorithm to solve the assembly line balancing problem (ALBP). The ALBP arises in high-volume, lean production systems when decision-makers aim to design an efficient assembly line while satisfying a set of constraints.

Design/methodology/approach

An improved genetic algorithm (IGA) is proposed in this study to deal with ALBP to optimize the number of stations and the workload smoothness.

Findings

To evaluate the performance of the IGA, it is used to solve a set of well-known benchmark problems and a real-life problem faced by an automobile manufacturer. The solutions obtained are compared against two existing algorithms in the literature and the basic genetic algorithm. The comparisons show the high efficiency and effectiveness of the IGA in dealing with ALBPs.

Originality/value

The proposed IGA benefits from a novel generation transfer mechanism that improves the diversification capability of the algorithm by allowing population transfer between different generations. In addition, an effective variable neighborhood search is used in the IGA to enhance its local search capability.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Izhar Oplatka

In order to fill the gap in theoretical and empirical knowledge about the characteristics of principal workload, the purpose of this paper is to explore the components of…

Abstract

Purpose

In order to fill the gap in theoretical and empirical knowledge about the characteristics of principal workload, the purpose of this paper is to explore the components of principal workload as well as its determinants and the coping strategies commonly used by principals to face this personal state.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 50 principals, all from the elementary and secondary educational systems of Israel. The analysis followed the principles of qualitative research.

Findings

Four subjectively held constructs of principal workload, main sources of this workload, and the key strategies used by principals to face this workload were found in this study.

Practical implications

It is recommended to strengthen school autonomy, increase the number of positions of middle management, prepare future principals for the heavy workload, and encourage supportive superiors who are sensitive to this issue.

Originality/value

This study fills the gap in theoretical knowledge concerning principal workload, assuming that the particular characteristics of the school organization have some unique impact on this personal state. It also enables us to identify the types of this personal state occurring in educational organizations from the subjective perspectives of school members and stakeholders, thereby broadening the understanding of employee workload in various settings, including educational arenas.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 55 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 15 December 2017

Xiaofeng Hu and Chunaxun Wu

The purpose of this paper is to define new criteria for measuring workload smoothness of two-sided assembly lines and propose an algorithm to solve a two-sided assembly…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to define new criteria for measuring workload smoothness of two-sided assembly lines and propose an algorithm to solve a two-sided assembly line balancing problem focusing on distributing the idle time and the workload as evenly as possible among the workstations.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper points out that the mean absolute deviation (MAD) and the smoothness index (SI) used to measure the workload smoothing in one-sided assembly lines are both inappropriate to evaluate the workload balance among workstations in two-sided assembly lines, as the idle time occur at the beginning and in the middle of a cycle within workstations. Then, the finish-time-based SI and MAD (FSI and FMAD) are defined, and a heuristic procedure based on the core mechanism of Moodie and Young method is proposed to smooth the assembly workload in two-sided assembly lines.

Findings

The computational results indicate that the proposed heuristic algorithm combined with the FMAD is effective in distributing the idle time and the workload among workstations as evenly as possible in two-sided assembly lines.

Practical implications

The two-sided assembly line balancing problem with the objective of the line efficiency can be effectively solved by the proposed approach.

Originality/value

The FMAD is proposed to effectively improve the workload smoothing in two-sided assembly lines.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 38 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

S. Rajakumar, V.P. Arunachalam and V. Selladurai

To provide a new model to solve the assembly‐planning problem of a textile machine in a shopfloor which can help researchers and practitioners.

Abstract

Purpose

To provide a new model to solve the assembly‐planning problem of a textile machine in a shopfloor which can help researchers and practitioners.

Design/methodology/approach

The assembly planning of a textile machine (repetitive manufacturing system) involves the allocation of operations to cross‐trained operators. Workflow is defined as the workloads assigned to the operators. Operators with smaller workloads are selected to be assigned new operations from the list of unscheduled operations. Three different scheduling strategies – random, shortest processing time, and longest processing time – are adopted for the selection of operations to be assigned to operators. Different combinations of these strategies are considered for the selection of both preceding and succeeding operations. A computer simulation program has been coded on an IBM/PC‐compatible system in the C++ language to study the performance of real data from the shopfloor.

Findings

The relative percentage of imbalance is adopted for evaluating the performance of these heuristics. The RL, SL and LL produced well balanced workload schedules with lesser RPI values for all operators other than heuristics.

Research limitations/implications

Non‐traditional approaches like genetic algorithms can be applied to determine the robustness of the results obtained by this research.

Practical implications

The experiments on simulated and real data clearly indicate that the order of succeeding operations determines the balanced workflows to the assembly of operations among the operators.

Originality/value

The allocation of assembly operations to the operators is modeled into a parallel machine‐scheduling problem with precedence constraints using the objective of minimizing the workflow among the operators.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Book part
Publication date: 27 March 2006

Sabine Sonnentag and Charlotte Fritz

In this chapter, we review empirical research evidence on the relationship between stressors and catecholamines (i.e., adrenaline and noradrenaline) and cortisol. With…

Abstract

In this chapter, we review empirical research evidence on the relationship between stressors and catecholamines (i.e., adrenaline and noradrenaline) and cortisol. With respect to acute stressors, both laboratory and field research have shown that the exposure to stressors leads to an increase in catecholamine and cortisol levels. With respect to more chronic stressors, research evidence is less consistent. Chronic mental workload was found to be related to elevated adrenaline levels. With respect to cortisol responses the interaction between workload and other variables seems to play a role. Empirical studies suggest that chronic stressors affect the responsivity to acute stressors. Research showed that after the exposure to stressors catecholamine and cortisol recovery is delayed.

Details

Employee Health, Coping and Methodologies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-289-4

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2008

Elliot Bendoly and Mike Prietula

The purpose of this paper is to examine how training specific to a given operational task, and subsequent experiential learning, can heighten skill and hence shift the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how training specific to a given operational task, and subsequent experiential learning, can heighten skill and hence shift the level of workload at which individuals are most productively motivated.

Design/methodology/approach

To analyze these effects, a laboratory experiment was used involving a vehicle routing application and 156 managers exposed to a 2 × 3 complete treatment design. Both multi‐period objective in‐task data and subjective self reports are collected to tap into skill levels, actions and behavioral variables of interest.

Findings

In the absence of additional workload challenges, the paper finds that increases in skill may in fact significantly limit and in some cases actually degrade overall motivation, as well as objective performance.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations potentially stem from specific operationalizations of the factors studied as well as selectivity of the subject pool and the context (vehicle routing task).

Practical implications

The implications of the skill‐challenge‐motivation dynamics observed have direct repercussions for existing management models in which training and experience are viewed as having strictly monotonic benefits to performance. The implications also go far to promote more informed models of worker behavior in operations modeling that otherwise view performance as static or monotonically increasing based on experience.

Originality/value

This is believed to be the first study that has explicitly studied the inverted‐U dynamics stemming from the interplay of both skill and workload on motivation and performance, over a multi‐period framework of analysis.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 28 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Book part
Publication date: 30 December 2004

Elizabeth S. Redden, James B. Sheehy and Eileen A. Bjorkman

This chapter provides an overview of the Department of Defense (DoD) laboratory structure to help equipment designers, modelers, and manufacturers determine where…

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of the Department of Defense (DoD) laboratory structure to help equipment designers, modelers, and manufacturers determine where research, testing programs, or relevant findings can be found. The chapter includes a discussion of the performance measures and metrics typically used in DoD laboratories and concludes by considering the current state-of-the-art as well as the state-of-the-possible for human performance measurement.

Details

The Science and Simulation of Human Performance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-296-2

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2003

Jia‐Lang Seng

Benchmarks are the vital tools in the performance measurement and evaluation of database management systems (DBMS), including the relational database management systems…

Abstract

Benchmarks are the vital tools in the performance measurement and evaluation of database management systems (DBMS), including the relational database management systems (RDBMS) and the object‐oriented/object‐relational database management systems (OODBMS/ORDBMS). Standard synthetic benchmarks have been used to assess the performance of RDBMS software. Other benchmarks have been utilized to appraise the performance of OODBMS/ORDBMS products. In this paper, an analytical framework of workload characterization to extensively and expansively examine the rationale and design of the industry standard and synthetic standard benchmarks is presented. This analytical framework of workload analysis is made up of four main components: the schema analysis, the operation analysis, the control analysis, and the system analysis. These analysis results are compiled and new concepts and perspectives of benchmark design are collated. Each analysis aspect is described and each managerial implication is discussed in detail.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 103 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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