Informatyczne wspomaganie procesów przepływu leków i materiałów medycznych w szpitalu
Computer support of the processes of medical supplies flow in a hospital
The article presents a concept of using computer support for increasing the effectiveness of a hospital's logistic and administrative processes. The concept has been currently implemented in a hospital in Wroclaw within a project financed partially by the Ministry of Scientific Research and Information Technology. One of the most important research problems that are being solved within the project, is developing an effective inventory management system for pharmaceutical products and medical materials in the hospital. The concept of computer support of the medical supplies flow includes creating a hetero-genic computer system based on existing and currently used applications. The flow processes will be controlled by an integrating module, working as a data warehouse, in which all the data from other applications will be collected and analysed. The module will be integrated with ADC (Automatic Data Capture) and EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) systems. The patient flow inside the hospital will be monitored by scanning bar codes on patients' wrist bracelets, all the paper documents and patients' laboratory samples. The drugs and medical materials flow will be registered by scanning bar codes on packages, while their distribution will be acknowledged by scanning a patient's code. All the bar codes used in the hospital systems will belong to the internationally accepted EAN.UCC standards. The processes of ordering, both in a Centra! pharmacy and at wards, will be supported by an application, the role of which suggests the time and size of orders. The parameters of the application will adapt themselves to a current demand in a dynamic way. External communication will be performed electronically with the use of standard messages developed by the Polish Pharmacy Group of the ECR Club. Integrating all the hospital's computer systems and implementing ADC and EDI solutions are a crucial element for the optimization of drugs and medical material processes flow. Mow-ever, the above systems are only the tools for supporting a proper inventory management system. In order to select the most suitable model for the inventory management of drugs and medical materials, the following steps were taken: 1. Analysis of currently used methods of stock replenishment, 2. Simulation experiments to select an optimal model for stock replenishment in a central pharmacy and at wards, 3. Adaptation of selected solutions to the hospital environment, 4. Simulation of the performance of the developing inventory management system In the article, the applied methodology of selecting a proper model for stock replenishment in the hospital is described in details. It also specifies the functionality of the application supporting the developed inventory management system. The presented concept is now at the preparation stage for a pilot implementation. In future steps, a detailed profitability and cost analysis is going to be performed. Its aim is to estimate the possible proportion of healthcare operational expenses that can be saved through: rationalisation, a proper inventory management system and the use both of bar codes and EDI.
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