Standardizing pharmaceutical delivery to reduce pharmacy costs while simultaneously reducing missing doses

Anna Camille Svirsko, Bryan A. Norman, Seth Hostetler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


During a patient’s hospital visit, the hospital pharmacy strives to provide service with minimal missing doses or medication errors. In order to decrease the number of missing doses and medication errors that can occur, pharmacies can use either a robot within the central pharmacy or an automated dispensing cabinet (ADC) on the unit that dispenses individual doses for patients. While the robot and the ADC are more effective than a pharmacy technician, they can be costly to implement. We create a linear model which captures the key aspects of the medication delivery system, both from the pharmacy perspective and the nursing unit perspective. The linear program determines the delivery method for each medication, dose type, and unit in order to minimize the cost to deliver the medication to the patient for a given missing dose rate. Solving this linear program for different missing dose rates produces the tradeoff curve between the minimum cost of delivery and the average number of missing doses. We then create a heuristic to determine the delivery method based on a ratio comparing the delivery cost increase to the missing dose reduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-46
Number of pages14
JournalIISE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020


  • Pharmacy
  • healthcare management
  • inventory management
  • optimization


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