University of Oulu

Utilizing artificial intelligence in perioperative patient flow : systematic literature review

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Author: Huotari, Anne1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.9 MB)
Pages: 74
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : A. Huotari, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-06-15
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Väyrynen, Karin
Liisanantti, Janne
Reviewer: Väyrynen, Karin
Rajanen, Dorina
Lanamäki, Arto


The purpose of this thesis was to map the existing landscape of artificial intelligence (AI) applications used in secondary healthcare, with a focus on perioperative care. The goal was to find out what systems have been developed, and how capable they are at controlling perioperative patient flow. The review was guided by the following research question: How is AI currently utilized in patient flow management in the context of perioperative care?

This systematic literature review examined the current evidence regarding the use of AI in perioperative patient flow. A comprehensive search was conducted in four databases, resulting in 33 articles meeting the inclusion criteria. Findings demonstrated that AI technologies, such as machine learning (ML) algorithms and predictive analytics tools, have shown somewhat promising outcomes in optimizing perioperative patient flow. Specifically, AI systems have proven effective in predicting surgical case durations, assessing risks, planning treatments, supporting diagnosis, improving bed utilization, reducing cancellations and delays, and enhancing communication and collaboration among healthcare providers. However, several challenges were identified, including the need for accurate and reliable data sources, ethical considerations, and the potential for biased algorithms. Further research is needed to validate and optimize the application of AI in perioperative patient flow.

The contribution of this thesis is summarizing the current state of the characteristics of AI application in perioperative patient flow. This systematic literature review provides information about the features of perioperative patient flow and the clinical tasks of AI applications previously identified.

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Copyright information: © Anne Huotari, 2023. Except otherwise noted, the reuse of this document is authorised under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence ( This means that reuse is allowed provided appropriate credit is given and any changes are indicated. For any use or reproduction of elements that are not owned by the author(s), permission may need to be directly from the respective right holders.