Improvement of the Level Service on a Hospital Warehouse Using Forecast Techniques

Improvement of the Level Service on a Hospital Warehouse Using Forecast Techniques

Paloma María Teresa Martínez-Sánchez (Universidad El Bosque, Colombia), Carlos Hernán Hernán Fajardo-Toro (Universidad EAN, Colombia), Úrsula Gomes Rosa Maruyama (Federal Center for Technological Education of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Paola Andrea Sánchez Sánchez (Universidad Simón Bolivar, Colombia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0268-6.ch001


This article presents a study case focused on the establishment and improvement of the service level in a central warehouse of a hospital organization in Colombia which provide the products of medical use, clothing, anesthetics, and supplies, to nineteen medical dependencies. The warehouse is managed by a person, developing planning processes, purchases, reception, and administration of products or inventories who depends on the administrative and financial sub-direction of the institution. Through the use of interviews and surveys conducted at different dependencies. As well as the collection of information in the field, there were problems with the availability of products due to problems related to planning purchases which are done empirically without data analysis. Taking into account the problematic previously raised, we took different models of predictions as well as the use of the Mean Squared Error (MSE) and the accuracy of predictions to determine the best model according to with the product analyzed.
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Health is considered as an own good and a fundamental right for people (Herazo, 2010; Jaberidoost, Nikfar, Abdollahiasl, & Dinarvand, 2013). However, it is notice that in some cases is undermined by the provision of an inadequate service by health entities. This translates into failures and complaints from users (Argas et al., 2010), primarily if the necessary elements such as medical and surgical supplies, which sometimes considered critical, are not available (Little and Coughlan, 2008), and as it is figured to have indicators or metrics such as the level of service (Narayana et al., 2014). Is fundamental in health services (Kelle et al., 2012), which in turn allows establishing the availability of products playing an essential role to save lives (Londoño, Morera, & Laverde, 2008).

The European commission defines the necessity of increase the sustainability of the public health services in 2007 (Azzi, Persona, Sgarbossa, & Bonin, 2013). To achieve that, the commission defines the next challenges to be face:

  • 1.

    Demographic changes. The Statistical Office of the European communities estimates that, by 2060, 30% of the population of the EU countries will be over 65 years of age. This makes the ratio of productive individuals low, which mean means that healthcare expenses will increase exponentially as individuals grow older.

  • 2.

    Inefficient and redundant processes (often “law-oriented”). The excess costs, within the healthcare supply chain, this result from inefficient and redundant processes.

  • 3.

    Patient safety needs to be improved through high quality and safe processes. Is imperative guarantee the safety as well as the availability of the medicines and services required by the user of the system.

To facing these challenges, is necessary that all the institutions start to apply concepts of management practices that allows controlling all the operations, to achieve the efficiency and effectiveness required. Within these practices are the management of the supply chain and the operations.

The supply chain is conjunction of all processes involved, directly or indirectly, to give an adequate response to the necessities of the final consumers of a good or service. This includes all processes of provisioning, production, distribution, warehousing and replenishment, among others, where the main aim is the integration of all the steps of the chain from suppliers to final costumers.

In the case of Health services, its supply chain management refers to obtain all the resources, supplies, and delivering goods and services from providers (hospitals, doctors and health units) and their patients. To achieve this, physical goods and information about medical products and services go through manufacturers, insurance companies, hospitals, providers, and several agencies (Jarrett, 1998; Lee, Lee, & Schniederjans, 2011; Yadav, 2015).

One critical aspect for many organizations is the inventory management. The inventory is the mechanism through which the companies guarantee cover the necessities of the demand, products of services, whether with raw materials, supplies or finished goods. However, depending on the strategy used to respond to its demand, the companies will define the type of inventory and the way to manage it. To determine both capacity and inventory levels is necessary to have forecasting, and based, on that establish service levels and provisioning distribution strategies (Shah, 2004; Singh & Verma, 2018; Bowersox and Closs, 2002).

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