Lateral transshipment of slow moving critical medical items
Eksioglu, Duni Sandra
This research studies lateral transshipment of critical medical items that have low demands. Due to the high prices of medical items and their limited shelf lives, the expirations contribute significantly to the current prohibitively high cost of the healthcare system. Lateral transshipment between hospitals in a medical system provides opportunities to reduce the expiration costs. This paper studies the decision rule for lateral transshipment in a two-hospital system and extends the rule for the multiple-hospital cases. The decision rule takes the myopic best action by assuming no transshipments will be performed in the future. Numerical experiments demonstrate significant cost savings and the decision rule has a small gap from the upper bound of the total saving. The savings are more considerable when the difference of demand rates at different locations is large and the life time of the medical item is not too long or too short.