, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 1179–1198 | Cite as

Modelling and analysis of healthcare inventory management systems

  • Esha SahaEmail author
  • Pradip Kumar Ray
Application Article


The core competency of the healthcare system is to provide treatment and care to the patient. The prime focus has always been towards appointing specialized physicians, well-trained nurses and medical staffs, well-established infrastructure with advanced medical equipment, and good quality pharmacy items. But, of late, the focus is driven towards management side of healthcare systems which include proper capacity planning, optimal resource allocation, and utilization, effective and efficient inventory management, accurate demand forecasting, proper scheduling, etc. and may be dealt with a number of operations research tools and techniques. In this paper, a Markov decision process inventory model is developed for a hospital pharmacy considering the information of bed occupancy in the hospital. One of the major findings of this research is the significant reduction in the inventory level and total inventory cost of pharmacy items when the demand for the items is considered to be correlated with the number of beds of each type occupied by the patients in the healthcare system. It is observed that around 53.8% of inventory cost is reduced when the bed occupancy state is acute care, 63.9% when it is rehabilitative care, and 55.4% when long-term care. This may help and support the healthcare managers in better functioning of the overall healthcare system.


Healthcare systems Inventory control Bed occupancy Markov decision process Case study 



The authors would like to thank the case study hospital authority for their support and cooperation during data collection.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Operational Research Society of India 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial and Systems EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia

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