Automated Medical Supply Chain Management: A Remedy for Logistical Shortcomings
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE, DISTANCE LEARNING, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AFB United States
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Inspired by the 2013 Every Dollar Counts campaign, this research evaluated whether automated inventory management practices would be more efficient than manual inventory management practices within the 96 Medical Group MDG, Eglin Hospital. It was known that the Defense Medical Logistics Standard was used at Eglin Hospital but was not fully integrated down to the unit level. Casual manual inventory management practices were used explicitly resulting in inventory overstock and expiration, and supply shortages. Furthermore, inventories on multiple units were dispersed making it difficult to find needed supplies. Appropriately, automating the supply chain seemed like a logical solution to fix these flawed management practices, and so the question was asked How will an automated supply management solution in the 96 MDGs inpatient and surgical units impact efficiency This study utilized an evaluation methodology applying a cost-benefit analysis and mixed methods approach to posit how automation will increase efficiency at Eglin Hospital. The results of the study show good reasons to invest in automation. There is a strong amount of qualitative and quantitative data from the merchandise and manufacturing fields of business. There is limited data in healthcare however, the correlation is made that best practices are universal to all business types. Thus there is a strong valuation placed on the non-quantifiable benefits within the cost-benefit analysis of automated inventory management practices. As a result, the study concludes automation will increase efficiency at the 96 MDG and is recommended for hospital-wide use. Bias cannot be completely ruled out within this study. The study realizes there are limitations and areas for future research.
- Administration and Management
- Medical Facilities, Equipment and Supplies
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies