Department of Community MedicineChhattisgarh Institute of Medical Sciences , Bilaspur (C.G.). OPERATIONAL RESEARCH
CONTENTS1. Overview.2. History.3. Definitions.4. Objectives of Operational Research.5. Scope of Operational Research.6. Methods of Operational Research.7. Operational Research process.8. Operational Research in Public Health.9. Societies and Journals of Operational Research.10. Conclusions.
History Operational Research has been existed as a science since 1930‘s. But as a formal discipline Operational Research originated by the efforts of military planner during World War II .
History The analytical study of military problems was undertaken to provide scientific basis for decisions to improve military operations.
History In the decade after World War-II the techniques began to be applied more widely in problems of business, industries and societies.
History Since the time Operational Research has expanded into a field widely used in industries ranging from petro- chemical to airlines, finances, logistics and government. Now it has become an area of active academic and industrial research.
History The techniques of Operational Research have been applied and proven in many industries under different names. For instance :- - ‘Lean’ in manufacturing. - ‘Supply Chain’ in logistics and - ‘Yield Management’ in airlines.
Origin of Operational Researchin Medicine and Public Heath Operational Research has been studied in Health Care settings since 1952.
In England , Norman Bailey published “Operational Research in Medicine” in the June issue in Operational Research Quarterly. (Bailey June 1952). In the same year “Journal of the Operations Research Society” was launched in America.
Many Operational Research papers on health care subjects have been published in Operational Research and Health Care Journals.Including – American Journal of Public Health.(1952) Operational Research in Medicine. (1952 by Norman Bailey , England). Journals of Operational Research Society. British Medical Journal. Heath Care Management Science.
Despite the proliferation of papers inthe academic literature there are stillmajor issues around gettingOperational Research models widelyaccepted as part of mainstreamdecision making by health managers,policy makers and clinicians.
DEFINITION“Operational Research is the scientific study of operations for the purpose of making better decisions.”
Definition by WHO (2003)“The use of systematic research techniques for program decision making to achieve a specific outcome.”
A working meeting in Geneva on - “Framework for Operation and Implementation Research in Health and Diseases Control Program” All participant were agreed on - “Any research producing practically usable knowledge ( evidence , finding , information) which can improve program implementation (effectiveness , efficiency , quality , access , scale-up, sustainability) regardless the type of research (design, method, approach) falls within the boundaries of Operational Research.”
Objectives Decision making and improve its quality. Identify optimum solution. Integrating the systems. Improve the objectivity of analysis. Minimize the cost and maximize the profit. Improve the productivity. Success in competition and market leadership.
Objectives The intent of Operational Research is to learn about management and administration of socio-cultural behavior and economic factors that exist as bottleneck to effective implementation and to develop more effective approaches to the programming.
Scope of Operational Research1. National plans and budget.2. Health care services and National Health Programs.3. Government development and public sector unit.4. Industrial establishment and private sector unit.5. National defense services.6. Research and development in engineering.7. Public works department.8. Business management.9. Agriculture and irrigation projects.10. Education and training.11. Transport and communication.
MethodsDespite the number of technical labels like- - multi-criteria decision analysis, - linear and non linear programming, - discrete-event simulation, - queuing and stochastic process modeling, - conjoint analysis or - neural networking.
METHODSMost projects of Operational Research applyone of three broad groups of methods :- 1.Simulation methods. 2.Optimization methods. 3.Data-analysis methods.
1.Simulation methodIt gives ability to conduct sensitive study to - (a). search for improvements and (b). test the improvement ideas that are being made.
2.Optimization methods Here goal is to enable the decision makers to identify and locate the very best choice, where innumerable feasible choices are available and comparing them is difficult.
3.Data-analysis methods The goal is to aid the decision-maker in detecting actual patterns and inter- connections in the data set and Use of this analysis for making solutions. This method is very useful in Public Health.
Process1. Identification of program problem.2. Identification of possible reasons and solutions .3. Testing of potential solution.4. Results utilization.5. Results dissemination.
1.Identification of the program problem Most critical step in the process. Unless problem is clearly defined it is impossible to develop good solutions.
2.Identification of possiblereasons and solutions Once the problem has been identified , it is the job of the program implementer and researcher to determine the reasons for the problem and generate possible solutions.
3.Testing of potential solution A good solution must be measurable, easy to implement and sustainable. To determine effectiveness of proposed solution two designs are used- (a) quasi-experimental design. - comparison of situations before and after the solution. (b) true experiment. - comparison of outcome between experimental and control groups.
4.Result utilization It is necessary to decide how its results are meant to be used. This determine to some extent that what information should be collected.
5.Results disseminationResults dissemination are done in theform of seminars or by meeting withdecision makers.
“The mission of public healthis to assure the conditions inwhich people can be healthy.”
This mission is accomplishedby the application ofPublic Health Science inoperations of Public HealthServices.
Operational Research ( management principles and techniques) can be applied in both of these areas of the Public Health.1. Public Health Science.2. Public Heath Services.
Composition of O. R. team in PublicHealth1. A Public Health Administrator.2. An epidemiologist.3. A mathematician.4. A statistical scientist and5. A social scientist.
Process of O.R. in Public Health1. Formulation of the problem,2. Collection of data,3. Analysis and hypothesis formulation,4. Deriving solutions from the models,5. Choosing the optimal solution and forecasting results,6. Test the results and7. Recommending implementation.
Uses in Public Health1. Identify and solve the problems of program in timely manner.2. Helps policy maker and program manager to make evidence based program decisions.3. Improve program quality and performance by using scientifically valid methods.
Public Health Operations1. Disease screening and surveillance.(e.g. HIV, Influenza)2. Outbreak investigations.( e.g. SARS)3. Vaccination.4. Quarantine and isolation.(e.g. T.B.)5. Behavioral modification program.(e.g. STDs)6. Inspection and standard enforcement at public establishment.( e.g. restaurants )7. Environmental monitoring.(e.g. bacterial level at public swimming areas)8. Vector control.(e.g. mosquito, ticks etc.)
SOCIETIES AND JOURNALS OF OPERATIONAL RESEARCH
IFORS International Federation of Operational Research Society IFORS is an umbrella organization for Operational Research societies world-wide . It represents 50 national societies including those in US, UK , France , Germany, Canada , Australia , New Zealand, Philippines , India , Japan and South-Africa.
ORSI Operational Research Society of India founded in 1957. the society is affiliated to the IFORS. Head quarter of ORSI is located in Kolkata at 39, Mahanirvan Road , Kolkata 700029. The society publishes a quarterly journal OPSEARCH.
INFORMS Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences US–based organization. INFORMS started an initiative to market the Operations Research profession better. website : ” The Science of Better”. This initiative has been adopted by Operational Research Society in UK. website : “Learn about OR” .
INFORMS publishes twelve Scholarly journals about Operational Research.Including-1. Decision Analysis.2. Information System Research.3. INFORMS journal on computing.4. Interfaces: An International Journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.5. Management Science: A Journal of the Institute for Operations Research.
C.O.R.T. Center for Operations Research and Training CORT established in 1991 is one of the leading research and training organization in India. Its headquarter is in Varodara ,Gujarat. Broadly it covers area of health , demography and social and development issues.
CORT CORT is responsible for running State Training and Resource Center (STRC) in the state of Gujarat. CORT is actively involved in building research capacity of NGOs by organizing training workshops
Conclusions Operational Research needs to be integrated as an essential part of monitoring and evaluation efforts in Public Heath. Thus concept of M’OR’E could become a new paradigm for enhancing the practice of integrated monitoring and evaluation dimensions as one common component into program management system.