An appointment scheduling framework to balance the production of blood bags from donation
Abstract: Blood is fundamental in several care treatments and surgeries, and plays a crucial role in the health care system. It is a limited resource, as it can be produced only by donors and its shelf life is short; thus, the blood donation (BD) system aims at providing adequate supply of blood bags to transfusion centers and hospitals. An effective collection of blood bags from donors is fundamental for adequately feeding the entire BD system and optimizing blood usage. However, despite its relevance, donation scheduling is only marginally addressed in the literature. In this paper we consider the Blood Donation Appointment Scheduling (BDAS) problem, aiming at balancing the production of the different blood types among days in order to provide a quite constant feeding of blood bags to the BD system. We propose a framework for the appointment reservation that accounts for both booked donors and donors arriving without a reservation. It consists of an offline Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) model for preallocating time slots to blood types, and of an online prioritization policy to assign a preallocated slot when the donor calls to make the reservation.