I recently booked an appointment with a doctor in Valencia through a great website called Doctoralia. Through this website, anybody can get in touch with a specific doctor and see recommendations, details, etc. I then realized that doctors, as any other service providers, need to use marketing in order to promote themselves. This raises the question: where is the line between a client and a patient?
Hospitals, like any institutions, use marketing, finance, human resources and logistics to deliver a reliable service which helps the patients while making profit.
Through this post, we are going to see how a hospital uses logistics.
The roots of health care logistics:
The population is aging: in 1960, the persons older than 65 represented 4.974% of the world population, whereas in 2016, this number jumped to 8.482%. This means that the need for treatment has increased in the same manner. The need for more expensive treatments (for example: cancer) has increased as well. This calls for an increase in efficiency and a decrease in price in order to keep the service level required.
The goal is to accelerate the patient flow by assuring that they are treated in the best way possible.
- “Just-in-Time” logistics: this will enable to reduce the length of the treatments by providing the patients the right doctor at the right time.
- Use of computer systems enabled to track any patients, doctors or medicines in a hospital in order to reduce the length of the treatment which increases the life span and allows more patients to be treated. The use of technology is extremely important in this changing environment: use of RFID chips (low-cost solution for tagging equipment), fully automatic laboratory (with robotic arms for examples).
This will be achieved by:
- Using RTLS (Real Time Location System): about the location of equipment, personnel and patients
- Having transparent task management across the hospital
There are 6 sectors that need to be optimized in order to achieve “Just-in-Time”:
- Task Management
- General Management
- Bed Management
- Trolley Management
- Transport Management
- Cleaning Management
Applying logistics to a health care environment will be the solution to the increasing demand of expensive treatments and aging population. Some hospitals are already implementing it, such as Aalborg University Hospital in Denmark. If you want to learn more about this topic, take a look at this report: http://healthcaredenmark.dk/media/1461454/HCD-Hospital-Logistics-white-paper-v1-single-0217.pdf
Thank you for reading 😉