Flow management and process optimization

Minimizing risks and reducing costs through technology? This is ProcSim's mission. These passionate experts guide their clients through 3D modeling, simulation, analysis, optimization, prediction, and visualization.

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ProcSim is a company based in the EPFL Innovation Park, specializing in flow management and process optimization. They are involved in industrial, hospital, and transport logistics projects, at every stage of the life cycle.

Their team of engineers provides solutions to their clients’ dynamic systems using a virtual “digital twin” model and optimization methods.

The purpose is to help companies to achieve their performance objectives, minimize investment risks, reduce operating costs, increase efficiency and accelerate return on investment.

Improving the experience through process optimization

In both industry and healthcare, optimizing processes and improving flow management is a crucial issue in order to get the best out of an organization’s operations.

The logistical aspects, especially within hospitals, require careful consideration in order to provide the best possible service to the patient.

processus projet procSim

Healthcare: a strategic sector

The operating room schedule, which is one of the hospital’s cost centers, is managed manually in most institutions today, based on the operating history. However, optimizing its efficiency is a key factor in the performance of the hospital.

The planning of the operating room is a complex combinatorial problem with multiple factors and constraints, notably in terms of human and material resources.

The integration of all the dimensions multiplies the scope of possible schedules, making this problem unsolvable by an algorithm looking for all possible solutions; and inconceivable by a human brain.

To answer this need, ProcSim has developed an intelligent algorithm specifically customized for this problem. Once the success of this solution was validated, the challenge was to make it available directly to the client.

From algorithm to user interface

Based at the EPFL Innovation Park, a few meters from each other, ProcSim and Apptitude combined their expertise to offer this client a complete solution.

The goal of this collaboration was to run the algorithm on a server, in order to make it available online, and thus allow the client to use the service directly through a dedicated interface.

The Apptitude team showed great flexibility. They really went to the trouble of developing a tailor-made offer that met our needs.

– Roxanne Tison, Lead Engineer, ProcSim

Challenge and feasability

The challenges related to this project lay in its practical feasibility. First of all, it was necessary to develop an algorithm specific to the problem of enhancing the operating room operations and their constraints. Then, it was essential making it compatible with its execution on a dedicated server.

Furthermore, one of the biggest challenges of this project was to set up an infrastructure capable of simultaneously launching several executions of the algorithm and managing the system through a back office. Finally, we had to integrate a straightforward, user-friendly interface for the end-user.

Achieving productivity gains

The optimized planning offers a capacity filling of the operating room while favoring the schedules requested by the doctors, and managing the availability of the medical equipment.

Indeed, an improvement of 30% capacity was observed in our case study. In addition, patient safety is improved and the workload upstream and downstream of the OR is balanced thanks to the optimized distribution of high-risk operations.

A user-friendly tool

The final product provides the customer with automation and reliability of operating room planning through an easy-to-use interface. This interface saves time and provides a history of the requested schedules and ensures a higher level of fluidity.

The reactivity of the solution allows the customer to quickly integrate any human or material change and to obtain the appropriate new schedule.

apptitude procsim collaboration

Promising perspectives and collaboration

As a result of this first collaboration, many new perspectives are foreseeable. We are proud of being able to combine the skills of two neighboring companies in Lausanne to deliver an ideal solution to customers.

The solution can be replicated in other sectors of activity and will be, in the near future, directly integrable to selected ProcSim customers’ servers. Innovation at the service of healthcare is our vision of meaningful digital transformation.

In the future, we will continue to collaborate and develop this solution in order to deploy it in different hospitals. But also, we will work on other optimization algorithms for the industrial sector.

– Roxanne Tison, Lead Engineer, ProcSim