Supply Chain-Related Adverse Events and Patient Safety in Healthcare

Supply Chain-Related Adverse Events and Patient Safety in Healthcare

Nebil Buyurgan (Department of Engineering, Quinnipiac University, Hamden, CT, USA) and Paiman Farrokhvar (Logistics Engineer, Transplace 3PL and Technology Company, Lowell, AR, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJHISI.2015040102
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This research investigates adverse events and patient safety in healthcare due to poor supply chain management practices, and inadequate and disorganized product validation procedures. Focusing on commodity medical and surgical products, this research investigates correct product validation points for maximum patient safety. This study also explores benefits of standard product identifying technologies such as HIBC or GS1 data standards as well as automated validation systems such as barcode or Auto ID to minimize workflow interruptions. Site visits and phone interviews are conducted with six healthcare providers to document common product validation practices and procedures. Based on observations and collected data, a simulation model is developed. Different scenarios are compared for patient safety, care delay, and system efficiency. The results show that validation points during PAR picking or bedside product administration, and warehouse picking operations provide optimal overall system performance. The results also indicate that standard product identifying technologies and automated validation systems significantly impact the efficiency of supply chain.
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2. Literature Review

Adverse event statistics reveal increasing numbers over the years. Jenkins (2005) analyzes hospitalizations in the state of New York and reports that 3.7 percent of patients experience adverse events and 27.6 percent of cases involve negligence. The same study indicates that over 70 percent of adverse events cause disability lasting less than 6 months, 2.6 percent result in permanent disability, and 13.6 percent result in death. Thomas et al. (2000) estimates the incidence and types of adverse events in Utah and Colorado and reports similar results. The study finds that 2.9 percent of hospital patients experience adverse events and 6.6 percent of cases cause death. In Utah, 32.6 percent of adverse events are due to negligence whereas in Colorado it is 27.4 percent. Figure 1 illustrates the number of adverse event reports received by FDA Adverse Events Reporting System (FAERS) over the years (FDA, 2014a).

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