Innovation in Cyclic Shift Scheduling for Emergency Medical Services using Integer Programming Formulations


The article "Cyclic shift scheduling with on-call duties for emergency medical services" written by Becker, Steenweg und Werners has been published in the journal „Health Care Management Science“ and is also available online.

In this article new set covering based integer programming formulations for cyclic stint-based staff scheduling with on-call duties are introduced. The proposed models are presently in use by a local German emergency medical services provider.


In workforce scheduling for emergency medical services, it is important to ensure sufficient coverage at all times. Thus, planning has to consider unpredictable employee absences. To hedge against this type of uncertainty, on-call duties can be assigned to employees.

With the use of new stint-based model formulations different cycle times for regular and on-call duties can be integrated into the shift schedule, thus reducing the planning complexity.

These models have already been in use by the Bochum emergency medical services since the beginning of the year.