Tuesday, August 2, 2011

University Press Release on Our Blood Supply Chain Research

The University of Massachusetts Amherst has issued a nice press release on our research on blood supply chains.

It is really exciting when theory, modeling, and computations all come together synergistically to contribute to an application that can help humanity.

It is also special when the research is done with students who are passionate about the topic.

The press release: UMass Researchers Seek Improvement in Blood Supply Chain.

Blood is a critical life-saving product that is frequently in scarce supply. Blood service operations are also a key component of the health care system all over the world. The U.S. averages 38,000 blood donations daily, but the supply is frequently two days away from running out. Blood is also perishable and estimates are that 8 percent becomes outdated and goes to waste.

Blood supplies are used in activities other than life-saving emergency care, and have an impact on whether hospitals can perform elective surgery and other non life-threatening procedures. The cost of each unit of blood has also been increasing in recent years, a factor in overall health care costs.

We built a model for a regionalized blood banking system consisting of collection sites, testing and processing facilities, storage facilities, distribution centers, as well as points of demand, which include hospitals.

The paper that describes the modeling and computational framework, co-authored with my doctoral students, Amir H. Masoumi and Min Yu, Supply Chain Network Operations Management of a Blood Banking System with Cost and Risk Minimization, will appear in Computational Management Science.