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Redesigning the Hospital Supply Chain for Enhanced Performance Using a Lean Methodology

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The supply chain of medicines is a fundamental component of the health care system. It requires a good management in order to enhance hospital performance. This paper describes a model of designing the distribution network of health products within hospitals. Different scenarios are studied using multi-criteria analysis in order to identify the most appropriate design of the hospital supply chain in terms of costs reduction, accessibility and quality of care improvement. The purpose is to define the most performing supply chain design based on three criteria: costs, accessibility and quality. The adopted design/methodology/approach is based on the analytic hierarchy process (AHP): a structured technique that assists decision makers to choose the best solution in complex situations taking on account multiple decision criteria. This paper proposes to compare six organizational scenarios of the hospital distribution network and in the end, to choose the most appropriate one based on three criteria: quality of services, accessibility and costs. Based on the AHP method, among the healthcare supply chain designs reviewed in the case study, the highest performance for pharmacies grouping is obtained by reducing costs and increasing the health products availability and quality. This grouping doesn’t concern all the medicines and medical devices but only a part of them. The three organizational scenarios that represent the grouping of all health products (the second, the fourth and the fifth) occupy the last three ranks. The actual situation occupies the third rank. That is to say, that the reorganization of the hospital distribution network is required to improve the hospital performance. The originality lies on the use of the AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process) method to choose the most appropriate design of healthcare supply chain in a case study based on three decision criteria: costs, accessibility to health products and quality. The originality of the model is the assessment of performance in the light of the presumed perception of all actors of hospital (patients, medical staff and managers).
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Healthcare; Supply Chain; Performance; Multi-Criteria Analysis; Quality; Costs; Accessibility; AHP

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