A more accurate and efficient way to manage blood demand and supply

What is this research about?

Blood transfusion is a life-saving treatment used across all disciplines of medicine. In hospital blood banks, the red blood cell (RBC) supply chain faces challenges due to highly variable ordering decisions and over-frequent urgent orders. Hospitals tend to cope with this variability by holding excess inventory, which increases risk of wastage. This also prevents Canadian Blood Services, the manufacturer of blood components, from understanding the real need for RBCs.

Although there have been several initiatives aimed at reducing blood wastage, current hospital inventory management practice cannot adaptively respond to highly variable changes in demand and supply. For example, in Ontario over the last three years there were over 5,000 units of outdated red blood cells. This study proposes more accurate and efficient ways to manage blood demand and supply by improving demand forecasting and inventory management methods for RBCs.

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