Optimal Medical Inventory Policies for Medical Storage: a Case Study of a Medium-Sized Hospital in Thailand
Keywords:Inventory management, Replenishment policy, Medical storage, Medium-sized hospital, Simulation-based optimization
This study focuses on an improvement in medical storage, which is one of the major expenses in a hospital. Based on a real case study of a medium-sized private hospital in Thailand, the study is conducted in two steps. The first step classifies medical (drug) items into three classes using the ABC analysis. Then, in the second step, a simulation-based optimization method using ARENA with the OptQuest Optimization tool is developed. The method optimizes the inventory policy’s parameters, to minimize the total relevant costs of keeping the drug items by combining the ordering and holding costs. We have applied four inventory policies to all samples of the drug items in class A, which contains the highest usage values. Then, a comparison is made with the hospital’s current practice to find possible savings. From the findings, cost savings of nearly 50% from the case of current practice can be achieved. The proposed methodology can assist and provide the best decisions in managing the medical inventory of this hospital under an uncertain environment of customer demand and supply lead time.