1. How suitable is the just-in-time inventory management system

1. How suitable is the just-in-time inventory management system for the University of Utah Hospital (as well as for other large hospitals)?
2. What recommendations would you make to the hospital in question to have drugs available to deal with a pandemic or other emergency?

Like many big hospitals, the University of Utah Hospital carries a 30-day supply of drugs, in part because it would be too costly or wasteful to stockpile more. Some of its hepatitis vaccine supply has been diverted to the hurricane ravaged Gulf, leaving it vulnerable should an outbreak occur closer to home. About 77 other drugs are in short supply because of manufacturing and other glitches, such as a drug maker shutting down a factory.
“The supply chain is horribly thin,” says Erin Fox, a drug-information specialist at the Salt Lake City Hospital. In the event of a pandemic flu outbreak, that chain is almost certain to break. Thousands of drug-company workers in the United States and elsewhere could be sickened, prompting factories to close. Truck routes could be blocked and borders may be closed, particularly perilous at a time when 80 percent of raw materials for U.S. drugs come from abroad. The likely result: shortages of important medicines—such as insulin, blood products, or the anesthetics used in surgery—quite apart from any shortages of medicine to treat the flu itself.


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