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Case Article—Medication Waste Reduction in an In-Hospital Pharmacy: A Case That Bridges Problem Solving Between a Traditional Case and an Industry Project

Author

Listed:
  • Gregory Dobson

    () (Simon School of Business, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14627)

  • Vera Tilson

    () (Simon School of Business, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14627)

Abstract

This operations management case describes a waste-reduction project in a compounding pharmacy in a hospital. Every day, pharmacy technicians prepare a large number of patient-specific medication doses and then deliver these doses to various hospital units. With the rising cost of medications, pharmacy managers become concerned that a significant number of compounded medication doses are not administered to patients and are subsequently wasted. The students are asked to quantitatively evaluate proposed changes to the compounding and delivery process and to estimate savings from process reconfiguration. Two large data sets are provided with the case to facilitate hypothesis generation regarding probable causes of waste and to analyze proposed changes. The analysis will deepen students’ spreadsheet skills as well as mathematical modeling of inventory problems. The case is presented in parts, and it is discussed over one-and-a half class meetings—simulating the steps of a field project: interviewing a client, framing the client’s problem, formulating a data request, and then analyzing the data and delivering a recommendation. This case has been used in a core MBA operations management class; it could also be used in a health-care operations or in a business modeling course. Teaching Note: Interested Instructors please see the Instructor Materials page for access to the restricted materials. To maintain the integrity and usefulness of cases published in ITE , unapproved distribution of the case teaching notes and other restricted materials to any other party is prohibited.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregory Dobson & Vera Tilson, 2016. "Case Article—Medication Waste Reduction in an In-Hospital Pharmacy: A Case That Bridges Problem Solving Between a Traditional Case and an Industry Project," INFORMS Transactions on Education, INFORMS, vol. 16(2), pages 68-70, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:orited:v:16:y:2016:i:2:p:68-70
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/ited.2015.0147ca
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