Inventory Management during COVID-19
The sudden outbreak of the pandemic diseases and their rapid spread requires an efficient utilization of the limited available resources. The resources available in medical facilities and the hospitals are mainly optimized and designed for a normal situation. However, dealing with a pandemic requires a better utilization of all resources, or in another term a centralized hospital management system. Aiming to make the best use out of the available resources, the goal of this assignment is to plan operations in medical facilities, in a centralized way. Here we focus on one main operations management decision: inventory management.
Although some countries blocked exports of medical equipment at the beginning of the crisis, hospitals and medical facilities should maintain an accurate estimation of their inventories to tackle shortages of the medical supplies including the personal protective equipment and the testing kits. Some Saudi hospitals with a low number of infected patients may share their extra resources with other local hospitals which are considered under immense pressure in the current emergency and are enable to ensure the availability of those essential medical supplies. This problem is referred to by the inventory transshipment problem, which controls movements of products among locations at the same echelon and matches supply and demand by transshipping excess stock of one member to another with insufficient stock.
2. Objective of the assignment:
Provide a decision-support system for Saudi hospitals and medical facilities to make the best use out of the available resources in terms of inventory management.
A. Conduct a literature review on collaborative hospital resource optimization during pandemics.
B. Methodology: Define a scenario analysis model to better estimate the inventory levels of critical medical equipment at health-care organizations and to optimize those levels. Sensitivity analysis of the results and inventory categorization analysis (ABC analysis) are recommended to provide health care managers with a roadmap and recommendations to insure a better response to the crisis and avoid the shortage of essential products. Indeed, these tools can be used to test different inventory scenarios at each hospital and ensure the optimized sharing of excess stocks between local hospitals while considering an estimation of the total number of infected patients, the 3/5 number of infected patients in different phases of the disease, and the medical equipment needed for each phase of the disease (COVID-19 testing kits, masks, surgical gowns, eye gear, ventilators, hand cleaners, disinfectants, etc).
C. Use data collected from a case study involving healthcare suppliers (medical equipment and medicine), healthcare organizations and government to test the method proposed to solve this challenging real-life operations management problem.
D. The report should be in a form of essay, include graphs, tables and charts preferably.