An equity-oriented multi-objective inventory management model for blood banks considering the patient condition: A real-life case

Document Type : Article


1 Faculty of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran

2 Department of Industrial Management and Information Technology, Management and Accounting Faculty, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran


The absence of systematic disparities in health utilization leads to achieving equity in health. However, equity in delivering healthcare services is always challenging because of financial and medical resource constraints. In this regard, a practical multi-objective mixed-integer linear programming model with priority-differentiated demand classes is presented for cost-effective inventory management of blood products considering health equity. The system deals with multiple substitutable products. There are elective and non-elective demands, which are categorized into three main classes based on medical urgencies. The health objectives are investigated to achieve a desirable health equity level in delivering healthcare services to patients. Moreover, the economic objective is pursued to minimize total costs incurred across managing the inventory without weakening the service level. An effective demand-oriented hybrid heuristic is proposed to issue and allocate the blood for demand satisfaction equitably. A goal programming approach is utilized to find the optimum solution. The applicability of the model is validated through a real case study. Finally, several sensitivity analyses are conducted to gain useful managerial insights. According to the results, the proposed model presents a proper solution by making a reasonable health-economic trade-off. Also, the results illustrate the beneficial improvement in patient care and promoting health equity.


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