Processes, episodes and events in health service supply chains

Paul Lillrank (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, School of Science, Aalto University, Aalto, Finland)
Johan Groop (Institute of Healthcare Engineering, Management and Architecture (HEMA), School of Science, Aalto University, Aalto, Finland)
Julia Venesmaa (Institute of Healthcare Engineering, Management and Architecture (HEMA), School of Science, Aalto University, Aalto, Finland)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Publication date: 3 May 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore different units of analysis applicable to the analysis of healthcare service supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a literature review, conceptual analysis and two case studies based on process mapping and longitudinal analysis of patient episodes.

Findings

Process management is appropriate in situations where there is a structured flow with a sufficient volume of similar repetitions. In the case where there are significant amounts of exceptions, a process can be decomposed into service events that can be defined and managed as part of a supply chain.

Research limitations/implications

The cases are based on data sets that do not allow empirical generalization.

Practical implications

The use of longitudinal patient episode data elicits problems in the process flow, such as delays and variable sequences. The use of events as a unit of analysis enables routinization in situations with exceptions and irregular sequences.

Originality/value

The service event is an original concept that links healthcare operations management to service‐oriented architectures and the service‐dominant logic.

Keywords

Citation

Lillrank, P., Groop, J. and Venesmaa, J. (2011), "Processes, episodes and events in health service supply chains", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 194-201. https://doi.org/10.1108/13598541111127182

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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