Analysis of IV-pump Management Alternatives Using Simulation

by Tavassoli, Mahsa

Abstract (Summary)
The objective of this thesis was to better understand the patterns of IV-pump use throughout the hospital in order to provide guidance to the hospital on alternative pump management methods. In the current system, when the number of available pumps in a department was fewer than the number of pumps required for patient care, the department encountered shortage. In most cases, the personnel were not clear on where available pumps might be stored and had to search for free pumps throughout the hospital.

The system was thoroughly studied and the necessary data were collected. A model reflecting the current flow of patients and pumps was developed. This model was operationalized by constructing a simulation model. The model presented the flow through the hospital on a daily basis.

The output of the simulation model provided the daily number of pumps in use in each of the departments and the distribution of pump use for each department, separately, and overall. Using these distributions, the number of pumps required in each department if maintaining a supply of pumps was quantified to meet certain service levels. In addition, the number of pumps required in the system if the pumps were all shared, was also obtained. It was concluded that the actual number of pumps required in the system is fewer than the number of pumps existing in the hospital. This conclusion confirmed that long searches for free pumps were not due to insufficient quantity of pumps, but were solely due to the behaviour of hoarding extra pumps when available. The simulation also provided the number of pumps short per day and the number of pumps in excess per day, by department.

Two pump management alternatives were suggested to the hospital. The first alternative was to utilize a centralized pool to keep all shared pumps when not in use. The second alternative was to install RFID technology throughout the hospital and equip all pumps with RFID tags so that they could be easily located. The three pump management systems (current, central pooling, and RFID) were compared, and the advantages and disadvantages of each of the alternative techniques were discussed.

Bibliographical Information:


School:University of Waterloo

School Location:Canada - Ontario

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:management asset simulation


Date of Publication:01/01/2006

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