Background and Introduction
World Health Organization (WHO) requires medical facilities to offer high quality medical facilities; to attain this noble objective, system within medical facilities must be operating effectively. Procurement and stocks management play vital role in the entire medical service delivery; to ensure efficiencies medical facilities need to have current/modern management systems that are reliable and effective (Bate, Robert and Bevan, 2004).
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With growth in electronic commerce, there has been the emergence of stock computerized management systems that endeavor to improve service delivery. Some commercial software that organizations need to implement to facilitate effective management includes GS1 (Global Standard 1); GS1 is an open global standard for product identification and bar-coding.
The system should be implemented within an organizational stock management department, supply chain management, the transport department and the docking segment (Stanton, 2008).
When dealing with health care organizations to GS1 has developed as special form of bar-coding that combines stakeholders in the sector with the aim of ensuring there is effective sharing of medical information; some of the stakeholders in the industry include pharmaceuticals, medical equipments, and products suppliers and manufacturers, hospitals, and other medical facilities (Crother-Laurin, 2006).
GS1 was developed through the collaboration of HLS (GS1 EPCglobal Healthcare and Life Sciences Industry Action Group), players in the medical services provision, and GS1 HUG (GS1 global Healthcare User Group); the main objective of the new development was to improve patient safety, supply chain security & efficiency, traceability and accurate data synchronization (United Nations Standard Products & Services Code, 2010)..
King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center is a national health facility located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; the facility has medial and support staffs of approximately 8500 to manager its bed capacity of 850 beds.
King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center aims at offering quality, timely and affordable health care services, to attain this role, the supply and logistics department has vital role to play.
The medical center has been in operation for the last 29 year respected for quality services and referral cases in oncology, organ transplantations, cardiac surgery, and genetic diseases. Among medical facilities in Saudi Arabia, the facility is respected for its quality and effective human resources management team; it embraces the principle of diversity and deploys over 60 different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds.
Some of the main strengths that the facility has been able to attain are the publishing of bimonthly general medical journal, the Annals of Saudi Medicine, and it also offers medical facilities to Saudi Royal Family and other VIP’s visiting the country.
The quality of services offered by King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center can be uploaded however there have been chances of elapses of the system; the procurement department has been one department that has had conflicts with stocks management department causing some deficits in the facility.
With innovation and growth in technology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center should embrace GS1 Health-care system to improve it service delivery system. Although the system come at a cost, the facility is likely to gain higher benefits and meet its corporate objectives with ease.
The mission of GSI Healthcare is to bring changes in the health care sector and improve the general provision of quality and reliable medical care services to the world; the system has the main role of data synchronization where it is expected to address matters of patients safety, improve supply chain management and efficiency in different segments of the an organization.
There are numerous success stories that the development has been implemented, they include adoption of the system in 2008 by leader companies in the sector of health care like n, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, and Merck (the above are manufacturers) and Group Purchasing Organizations (such as Comparatio, CVS, McKesson and Premier).
Logistics management is a strategic management tool, which involves the ultimate provision of products and services required by an organization for operational functions; it looks into quality provisions, value additions, and physical distribution of material stocks, trading products, work in progress inventories, and manufactured goods (Hambrick and Finkelstein and Mooney ,2005).
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In the health industry, players in the logistics/supply chain management need to share many and complex pieces of data in order to ensure efficiency, transparency and improve business and health care provision (Wolf, Bradle and Nelson, 2005).
For instance components and the ingredients used in making a certain medicine need to be communicated by manufacturers and distributors in the efforts to ensure users of the products understand what they are dealing with.
Because of the essential sharing and the importance of the data to both players in the sector as well the final users of the products, it is important to have an internationally accepted language and central control that endeavors to reinforce; in the absence of the effective and controlled sharing of information, players in the sector face high, unnecessary costs due to inaccurate data and supply chain information inefficiencies (Pielstick, 2005).
Under logistics management, the segment of supply chain management has the main objective of ensuring that health facilities have material supplies of the right quality, at an appropriate cost, and in the required quantity; when effectively managed, consumers get quality and quantity products. To fulfill its objectives, supply chain management operates at three main levels that are interlinked for an effective process.
For an effective supply chain management system, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center should join efforts with other medical service provisions and their stakeholders to ensure that the quality of their products are of high quality and there is sharing of information; this can be attained if the company enacts GS1 Health-care system (King, 2002).
The following are the main objectives that GSI Health care aims at attaining:
- The system aims at reducing medication errors as the right information is passed to the medical facilities using them; medical professionals will be sure what kind of medicine they are giving their patients.
- patient at the right time through the right route and in the right dose; dosage and the timing of the same is important for quality medical care; this will be facilitated by the adoption of the system (Parker, 2009)
- Efficient traceability; manufacturers and suppliers are easily traced by the system thus in the case of further consultation, it is easy.
- Efficient product authentication with product authentication, then players can get the right medicine and be guaranteed that its quality; incase of elapse of quality, then manufacturers can be tracked back
- Less time spent on manual documentation, leaving more time to consult directly with patients; this is likely to improve the efficient and effectiveness of medical care provision (Ulrike, 2010)
- Cost reduction through increased supply chain efficiency; when cost of medication has been managed, the effects are wide and reaching, it assists in general improvement of the health care system.
- Improved order and invoice process and Optimized receiving; when this happens, then the organization benefits
- Reduced inventory and increased productivity.
- Improved product recall and improved shelf management, and improved service levels/fill rate
- Improved benchmarking and management of supply cost and elimination of the need for re-labeling and proprietary codes (Paliadelis, 2005)
At tactical level, GS1 Health-care system assists management purchase and make production decisions depending with the demand that the company has for the products, it include contracting, scheduling, and process planning. This level offers an organization’s management room to develop the frameworks that the system will be operating through to ensure quality and quantity delivery of materials.
Other than looking at the interests of the company alone, this level considers the need of the final consumer in the efforts of benchmarking operations against those of competitors and enacting best practice policies.
Supply chain management involves ensuring that an organization has the right commodities at a competitive price to assist in competing with other players in the market; with this in mind logistics managers ensure they have aligned processes in the best interest of the company (Leach, 2005).
As an overall recommendation, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center should adopt computerized internal control system (GSI Health care system); under this system, the company will have an integrated supply chain management and facilitate effective sharing of medical information in the efforts of improving its medical service delivery.
GSI Health care system policy allows the medical facility to after physical verification of materials delivered to input them in the computer database; every time the production department is making an order, then they do it through the system, ensure that the effectiveness and quality of medicine used or bought has been noted and there is enough sharing of medical supply chain information (Kraemer, 2003)
Research Question/ Hypotheses
The primary question that the research seeks to answer is whether adoption of GSI Health care system is likely to improve provision of quality, affordable, and reliable medical care services at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, the research will look into both the gains and challenges that the system is likely to bring to the health facility in the effort of giving comprehensive report with recommendations on the right approach (Felland, Cunningham, Cohen, November and Quinn,2010).
The secondary questions that the research will seek to address are:
- What effect wills GSI Health care system has on the supply chain management systems?
- What information is crucial for quality medical services provisions; does the systems currently adopted by King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center have such information
- What has been the success rate of similar facilities that have adopted GSI System in their systems? Can there be a notable change in medical care provision
- Are there some instances of ineffectiveness or inefficiency or inappropriate medical care provisions that have been reported at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center resulting from lack of quality medical care information (Heijden, 2010).
The assumption that the research will be conducted under is that implementation of GSI System will improve the provision of quality medical care services; the parameters that have high correlation is quality medical information and service quality.
There is correlation between quality medical services products (the information provided by GSI System) and provision of quality medical care services
There is no correlation between quality medical services products (the information provided by GSI System) and provision of quality medical care services
This research will use qualitative research methods since other than offering the situation, the method offers a chance to find theories that explained the relationship between the dependent and independent variables used in the research.
This method aims at getting an in-depth analysis of strong points and stands of GSI System and relating the same with the effect it has on the general provision of quality, affordable and reliable medical care services at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center.
Qualitative is a method more common in social sciences and marketing studies; as it normally does not concentrate on one particular area but provides room for comparison.
The main questions that the method aims to answer is how and why on top of what and when. To collect data, qualitative research methods use the following methods of data collection interviews, focus groups, cases studies and observation, it is not limited to the above methods (Patton ,2002)
The research design that will be used in the research was process onion approach; he method was superior as it offered a suitable research approach that doable the strategies of this study; it aims at getting systematical analysis of the problem and seeking answers to the questions in an empirical and coherent manner.
The method takes the shape of an onion; the first layer raises the question of the research philosophy to adopt; the second layer flows from the first layer and considers the subject of research approach that was adopted in the research.
The third layer portrayed the research strategy followed by the forth layer which was more concerned about time frames that the researcher used when conducting the research; the final layer (fifth layer), the approach provided for data collection method that were employed in the research (Creswell, 1998).
The onion research design assists a researcher to collect rich information about the situation at hand and gather detailed information on the effects that free news have had to the print media as well as the growth and strengthening of perception and attitude to print media as a result.
Other than looking at the situation, the method offers room to give effective recommendations to producers of print news material to assist them improves their business in the changing times. The method offers a framework of systematic analysis of situation in the efforts of coming up with the best solution for the problem at hand (Burns, 2000)
Following the steps adapted from the preliminary stage an extensive literature review was conducted in order to determine the risk factors that are critical for the study making use of journal articles, government websites, and articles in periodicals etc. This led to the formulation of the theoretical framework for the study which gave the structure to the study (FIGURE 2).
Figure 2 – Research Design
The research methodology that will be adopted in the research is a deductive reasoning research methodology approach; it is a systematic method of obtaining knowledge where one proceeds from a general point of view to a specific analysis. The researcher starts from the known to explain the unknown.
In this case, the researcher will come from the known point that there has been an increased demand of environmentally friendly goods and what the research wants to know is how a company can manage its supply chain management to have such supplies whether procuring nationally or internationally (Balnaves and Caputi, 2002).
It has been suggested by that review of documentary resources is by far the most favorable method in qualitative research. It is considered meaningful as it presents the data and other sources of documentary evidence much aligned to the overall research objective, hence it is important to make use of all the sources of documents with due consideration so that the results obtained are meaningful.
However the case study approach to research does not claim any particular data collection method or data analysis and therefore any method for data collection such as testing, interviewing, surveying can be used in the case study method (Dewan and Sack, 2008).
Secondary sources/achieved data
These sources will be used to give the researcher a wide range of information about the world’s supply chain trends. Readings will be focused on those issues that influence green supply chain like customer preferences, influence of the government and company’s social corporate agenda (Amalberti, Auroy, Berwick and Barach, 2005).
Interviews will be conducted on various companies which procure their goods internationally and in their country of operation. An analysis of the logistics involved will be done. Interviews will assist in comparing the performance of companies adopting green supply technology and those who are not. Focus will be on procurement departments only (Marshall and Rossman, 1998).
Case study and survey
The research question of this research proposal aims at looking into a business process that has been adopted by some organizations while others are still in the implementation stage; the nature of the research question will call for the need to undertake a case study and survey on existing medical services stakeholders (Wolf, Bradle and Nelson, 2005).
.In the survey the choice will be focused on distributors, suppliers, manufacturers, users, and medical facilities that have adopted the system. Other than focusing on the organizations that have adopted the system, the research will evaluate the differences on quality service provision with those organizations that have failed to implement the system.
When undertaking the research survey, the objectives of an effective GSI system will be looked into and the degree that they have been attained; this will assist in determining the level of effectiveness of the system (Holliday, 2007).
Rationale for choosing these methods
The methods of collecting data chosen combine both secondary and primary sources of data. It will offer in-depth information on international trade and green supply chain management. Preferences of customers will be captured for better analysis and get to realize what motivates them to buy certain goods.
As the researcher interacts with people, he will realize some other areas that require future research and development (Denzin and Yvonna, 2005).
The population that data will be collected from will be formed by the following:
- Medical facilities (hospitals, clinics both private and public that have/have not adopted the system)
- Suppliers, distributers and sellers of medical care products like medicines
- Manufacturers of medical care products
- Patients and beneficiaries of medical care services they include those people with incurable diseases; the rate of the condition management will be evaluated (Creswell, 2003).
Sample population method selection
To determine the sample population to be adopted in the research, the researcher will use a stratified sampling; the method is superior in that it focuses on specific sub-group to investigate the research question. In this case this case focus will be on medical care facilities, suppliers of medical care products, distributors and manufactures of medical care services.
When the population has been determined from the larger one, the next crucial stage is to determine the specific organizations to be investigated by the study. The numbers of organizations that will be evaluated are two medical care facilities that have adopted the GSI Health care system, and two that have not adopted the system. When evaluating a single organization, the research will consider the entire supply chain (Berg, 2000).
King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center aims at providing reliable, affordable, and efficient medical care services, to attain this objective, the facility need to have an effective supply chain management that ensures sharing of medical information and data.
GSI Health care System is international information sharing medical products information among players in the sector; it focuses on improving communication among medical care industry stakeholders in the effort of improving medical care provision.
This research aims at evaluating the benefits and challenges that King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center can face if it decides to implement GSI Health Care system; the research will offer sound recommendation to the facility management on the way forward.
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