Health Care Management Science

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 166–178 | Cite as

Redesigning pharmacy delivery processes of a health care complex



This paper addresses a pharmacy delivery design problem with two types of human resources: pharmacy assistants and transporters within a hospital. Each medical unit of the hospital has a mobile medicine closet which is conveyed each week by transporters to the central pharmacy for inventory assessment and refill by assistants. Transportation is carried out by foot, by tractor or by truck depending on the location. The problem consists in creating a transportation and supply planning for each day of the week in order to balance workloads for both transporters and assistants while ensuring the availability of medicine to each medical service. A two-step approach using mixed-integer linear programming formulation is proposed to determine a near optimal schedule. Numerical results are given to assess its efficiency. The proposed approach is then combined with a simulation model to redesign the delivery process of the pharmacy department of a French university teaching hospital. Methodology of this real-life reengineering study is presented and discussed.


Pharmacy Redesign Medicine Closet Simulation Optimisation 



The authors would like to thank all workers of the pharmacy, especially Mrs. Veyre, chemist and head of the pharmacy department, and Mrs. Lorca, director of medical affairs of the CHUSE. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the contribution of reviewers for their comments.


  1. 1.
    Anderson JG (2002) Evaluation in health informatics: computer simulation. Comput Biol Med 32:151–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bates DW, Teich JM, Lee J, Seger D, Kuperman GJ, Ma’Luf N, Boyle D, Leape L (1999) The impact of computerized physician order entry on medication error prevention. J Am Med Inform Assoc 6(4):313–321Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Beaudry A, Laporte G, Melo T, Nickel S (2007) Planning patient transports in hospitals. In: Proceedings of the 2007 Operational Research Applied to Health Services, Saint Etienne, 15–20 July 2007Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Beaulieu M, Duhamel C, Martin R (2004) Intégrer les considérations logistiques au réaménagement d’un bloc opératoire. Logistique & Management (numéro spécial):93–99Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Belaidi A, Besombes B, Guinet A, Marcon E (2006) Utilisation de la modélisation d’entreprise et de la simulation de flux pour la réorganisation des services d’accueil des urgences - application pour une aide au pilotage de la prise en charge des patients. In: Actes de la conférence GISEH 2006, pp 197–206Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Centeno MA, Albacete C, Terzano DO, Carrillo M, Ogazon T (2000) A simulation study of the radiology department at jmh. In: Proceedings of the 2000 Winter Simulation Conference, Orlando, 10–13 December 2000, pp 1978–1984Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dean B, van Ackere A, Gallivan S, Barber N (1999) When should pharmacists visit their wards? an application of simulation to planning hospital pharmacy services. Health Care Manage Sci 2(1):35–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hassan T, Baboli A, Guinet A, Leboucher G, Brandon MT (2006) Re-organizing the pharmaceutical supply chain dowsntream: Implementation a new pharmacy. In: Proceedings of the 12th IFAC Symposium on Information Control Problems in Manufacturing, vol 3. St-Étienne, 17–19 May 2006, pp 727–732Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jun JB, Jacobson SH, Swisher JR (1999) Application of discrete-event simulation in health care clinics: a survey. J Oper Res Soc 50(2):109–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kelton W, Sadowski R, Sadowski D (1998) Simulation with arena. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kuperman GJ, Bobb A, Payne TH, Avery AJ, Gandhi TK, Burns G, Classen DC, Bates DW (2007) Medication-related clinical decision support in computerized provider order entry systems: a review. J Oper Res Soc 14(1):29–40Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Landry S, Beaulieu M (2005) Cahier de recherche n05-04Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Landry S, Blouin JP, Beaulieu M (2007) Réapprovisionnement des unités de soins : Portrait de six hôpitaux québécois et français. Logistique & Management (numéro spécial):13–20Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Reymondon F, Pellet B, Marcon E (2006) Methodology for designing medical device packages based on sterilisation costs. In: Proceedings of the 12th IFAC Symposium on Information Control Problems in Manufacturing, vol 3. St-Étienne, 17–19 May 2006, pp 701–706Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Spry C, Lawley M (2005) Evaluating hospital pharmacy staffing and work scheduling using simulation. In: Proceedings of the 2005 Winter Simulation Conference, Orlando, 4–7 December 2005, pp 2256–2263Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Weng ML, Houshmand AA (1999) Healthcare simulation: a case study at a local clinic. In: Proceedings of the 1999 Winter Simulation Conference, Phoenix, 5–8 December 1999, pp 1577–1584Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wong C, Geiger G, Derman YD, Busby CR, Carter MW (2003) Redesigning the medication ordering, dispensing, and administration process in an acute care academic health sciences center. In: Proceedings of the 2003 Winter Simulation Conference, New Orleans, 7–10 December 2003, pp 1894–1902Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Health Care Systems Operation Department, Engineering and Health DivisionÉcole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-ÉtienneSaint-Étienne cedex 2France

Personalised recommendations