Inventory Management in Blood Banks
The Operations Research (OR) and Operations Management (OM) community has witnessed significant progress in the field of research in blood bank inventory management during the past few decades. The OR and OM community has studied blood inventory management problems at the level of both individual hospital blood banks (HBB) as well as regional blood banks (RBB). The OR and OM literature at the individual HBB level has mainly focused on the determination of optimal policies for collection, ordering, componentizing, cross-matching and issuing of blood and its products. The literature at the RBB level emphasizes on the optimal policies for transshipment, rotation, distribution and scheduling of blood deliveries from the RBB to the HBBs. The objective of this chapter is twofold. In the first place, it provides the readers with a basic understanding of inventory management related problems commonly faced by HBBs. In the second place, it shows how various OR techniques can be used to manage the inventory of blood products in an efficient manner with the help of a real-life case study. This chapter is organized into seven sections. The first section talks of blood and its components. The second section provides a description of the different types of blood groups. Functioning of a typical blood bank is explained in the third section. The fourth section describes various operational decision-making problems at HBBs. The fifth section details out a real-life case study. The penultimate section describes recommendations for real-life implementations based on the insights obtained from the real-life case study. The chapter concludes with a set of exercises from the area of blood bank inventory management.
KeywordsBlood Group Blood Product Blood Bank Fill Rate Blood Unit
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