RFID Applications in Healthcare Systems From an Operational Perspective

RFID Applications in Healthcare Systems From an Operational Perspective

Alan D. Smith (Robert Morris University, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 28
DOI: 10.4018/IJSS.2019070101

Abstract

This treatise centers on media management and entrepreneurship as the healthcare industry transforms legacy systems into lean strategies that leverage RFID-related technologies with solutions to lower cost for supply chain partners and simultaneously enhance patient value. These solutions include using barcodes as a backup to more advanced media management technologies, standardization in medical processes and automation, overcoming implementation and resistance considerations, and eliminating waste in hospital inventory management systems. Successful case studies are outlined to illustrate these principles in practice.
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Introduction

Need to Streamline Healthcare Operations

The healthcare industry continues to face rising costs, which in turn has made it increasingly difficult for hospitals and other healthcare facilities to offer the best possible care and quality to its consumers (Jain, Benyoucef, & Deshmukh, 2008; Roy, 2019). As noted by Roy (2019), differentiated service delivery (DSD) models were initially developed as a means to combat suboptimal long-term retention in HIV care in order to better titrate limited health systems resources to patient needs. This is a classic example of the need to streamline care from individual to group-based care and facility to community-based health delivery systems. In the process of the need to find efficient models of healthcare that can be scaled, sustainable, reach vulnerable and high-risk populations, will always be a moving target. As noted by Hepburn (2015), there are few standardize methods of determining and reporting patient assessments of hospital care. As the recent global response to Covid-19, there have a number of weak spots in the supply chain, dependency on to few suppliers that may weaponized the active ingredients of many important pharmaceuticals, redundancy in overhead, poor management, excessive inventories of elective surgeries’ supplies, lack of coordination among stakeholders, to name a few. Overproduction can occur when excessive testing is required. Transportation issues occurs in healthcare with the convoluted shipping of countless types of drugs and medical equipment. Processing issues are especially evident in this industry, as waiting times can be very excessive. Defects in medicine and types of treatments can occur, which for patients can be particularly devastating. Motion can occur in a multitude of ways, from doctors and nurses being reassigned, to files being misplaced, motion is a constant waste. Waiting does not need to be described, as millions of individuals have experienced waiting at hospitals, or for apartments, or for medicine to come in. Finally inventory issues occur when there is either high stock or lack of product. After elaborating on each waste, the authors suggested that through the use of many tools, eliminating these wastes will provide alignment of value generating activities, in turn providing end consumers exactly what they require. As noted by Lopes, Scavardam & Vaccaro (2014) suggested many tools that can be used to maximize efficiency throughout the supply chain. For example, value stream mapping (VSM), which is the identification of all activities and specific tasks that occur throughout the value stream, has great potential in the healthcare field. Total productive maintenance (TPM) is used to redesign and improve the business structure by constantly assessing and subsequently restructuring silos and individuals throughout the company. Takt time (TT) measures the amount of time available for work based on the demand levels in that period.

The solution to the efficiencies inherent in the current healthcare system may be based in an open-minded and inclusive approach to solving the issues of SC coordination that is sustainable (Smith & Rupp, 2013a, 2013b; Van Weele & van Raaij, 2005; Mehrjerdi, 2010; Min & Yih, 2011). Customer demand is becoming more and more random because of the changing market and uncertainty of competition. This random demand can lead to many difficulties in supply chain coordination, therefore, it is important supply chain members learn how to effectively manage random demand. There are several difficulties of supply chain coordination between manufacturers, retailer s under various models discussed in the operations class, such as the newsvendor random demand model. Using such models, when the parties develop a degree of trust mechanisms, the existence of these trust mechanism generates a variety of difficulties including higher cost, lower efficiency, poor chronology, unsafe data storage, and lower robustness of supply chain if not properly managed.

Block chain technology possesses basic technical features (e.g., decentralization, distrust, agent elimination, chronology, anonymity, group maintenance, open-sourcing, being programmable, dispersed, unchangeable encrypted data, safety, end-to-end visibility, and reliability). For example, Li, Wang, and Yang (2019) believed that block chain technology can be used to build decentralized trust based point-to-point transaction and cooperation by using the methods of encrypting data, time stamping, distributed consensus, and economic incentives. With the digital landscape rapidly changing in the era of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics, healthcare supply chains suffer from the volatility or inconsistencies between supply and demand (i.e., the bullwhip effect) inherent in other supply chains (Alfian, Syafrudin, Yoon, & Rhee, 2019; Shan, Yang, Yang, & Zhang, 2014). With the emphasis on digital training and testing of model to help forecast network variability and constraints, time delays and amplification can create havoc in predicting demand, so by creating a digital twin, still whipsaw the supply chain. Hence, using a digitally based ecosystem to reduce latency in SCM via the conversion of manual and physical business processes into an automated form. This digital copy allows the simulation the physical entity through the use of IoT, sensors, AI, machine learning, augmented reality, and cognitive data analytics. Such methods could prove to offer a feasible way to address the current and universal supply chain issues. In short, supply chain members must use a combination of repurchase strategy, revenue sharing contact, and appropriate sharing to become more equal in benefits and sustainable on the long term. These solutions cannot be achieved through top-down management and the absence of stakeholder equity.

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