Modelling the Growing Process of Integrated Healthcare Supply Networks

Modelling the Growing Process of Integrated Healthcare Supply Networks

Daria Battini (University of Padova, Italy), Maurizio Faccio (University of Padova, Italy), Alessandro Persona (University of Padova, Italy) and Fabio Sgarbossa (University of Padova, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6339-8.ch019


This work contributes to the practice of healthcare system modelling, by presenting an urgent issue: the growing process of integrated healthcare supply networks in reducing public healthcare systems' annual expenses and improving performance. Various critical aspects affect the strategic design and development of healthcare logistic networks in practice. The conceptual discussion is empirically derived on the basis of the challenge created by the development of centralized healthcare supply networks supported by the implementation of new IT/IS investments and advanced logistic hubs for hospital material inventory management. The study moves towards the development of a newer “Healthcare Supply Network Causal Loop Diagram”, to analyse and predict the growth pattern of a healthcare logistic network in its complexity, and understand how well the supply network will fit with the benefit provided by new logistic economies of scale and the risk of failures under uncertainty.
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2. Background

The growing pressures to increase healthcare efficiency and effectiveness while decreasing costs, largely explains the augmented concern with healthcare supply network optimization in many countries like U.S.A., Canada, The Netherlands, Spain etc.

Most important changes in international healthcare supply chains structure (Kumar et et. al., 2008; Friesen, 2005; OntarioBuys, 2007 report; Ensenyat, 2008; Rossetti, 2008; Azzi et. al., 2012) include centralized and/or outsourced control of logistics (to a third-party logistics provider), shared healthcare supply services, advanced electronic tools and automated processes implemented into key hospital supply chain functions (i.e. RFID technology: including requisitioning, ordering, invoicing, payment, contract management and reporting) and drug/material inventory centralization and distribution (i.e. Nicholson at al., 2004; Persona et. al., 2008).

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