The ImproveOR project aims at improving efficiency in surgical care delivery and at improving access to surgical care, as a result of an increase of the operating room responsiveness to surgical demand and a better coordination between surgical supply and demand. Decision support tools are developed combining optimization approaches to assist resource capacity planning decisions in the operating room with structured participatory approaches to capture stakeholders’ views and preferences regarding the surgical patient flows and the planning and scheduling of surgeries. Simulation will help evaluating the impact of the new strategies proposed for surgical processes redesign. Two central hospitals of the Portuguese National Health Service participate in the project and are used as case studies where the research is tested and validated. The project generates social value and health gains.