Simulation to Forecast the Impact of Electronic Medical Records and Inventory (Patient) Postponement in Developing Efficient Heath Care Supply Chains

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The authors have previously validated a design of the health care supply chain which treats patients as inventory without loss of respect for the patients. This work continues examination of patients as inventory while addressing the dual objectives of reducing redundancy in services and creating greater efficiency in the health care supply chain. Health care professionals have become increasingly specialized, resulting in much more flexible and more expensive supply chains. The lack of common data storage, or electronic medical records (EMR), has created a need for redundancy (or rework) in medical testing. The overlap between these objectives is significant though the origins of the constraints are varied. We perform simulations using SigmaFlow software to address these objectives relative to the resource constraints, monetary constraints and the overall culture of the medical supply chain. The simulation outcomes lead us to recommendations for data warehousing as well as providing a mechanism such as inventory postponement strategies to establish appropriate lines between completely efficient and completely flexible health care supply chains.

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