Identifying green logistics best practices leading to the effective usage of pharmaceuticals: a case study of Thailand’s Public Hospitals
|Barber, Kevin D.
|Bandoophanit T, Breen L and Barber K (2017) Identifying green logistics best practices leading to the effective usage of pharmaceuticals: a case study of Thailand’s Public Hospitals. 22nd Logistics Research Network Conference at Southampton Solent University, September 2017. CILT(UK).
|Purpose Pharmaceuticals are a key input into healthcare operations and so their effective management is vital. This issue is of key importance in Thailand and is aligned with the Thailand’s 2nd National Logistics and Supply Chain Research Strategies (2012-2016) focusing on healthcare green logistics. Pharmaceuticals in hospitals account for more than 50% of the total hospital purchasing budget. Moreover, the overuse of medicine was generally found to be prevalent in Thai hospitals despite serious financial concerns. The aim of this study was twofold: Phase (i) to investigate the movement and lifecycle of pharmaceuticals within Thai hospital sites and Phase (ii) identify the GL practices that effectively control/minimize the use of pharmaceuticals. Research Approach Using a case research method six hospitals were examined, to give coverage of the different types/sizes, locations and a range of environmental performance issues. Hospital visits were undertaken during January to July 2014, to obtain data by using a multi-method approach: interviews, documentation reviews and in situ observation. Purposive respondent sampling was undertaken to ensure that data was collected from staff with experience of pharmaceutical management and a bespoke form of content analysis used for the data review before further cross-case analysis. Findings and Originality The result of Phase (i) revealed that pharmaceutical flows appeared to be sophisticated and problematic, caused by issues such as limited budget allocation, ineffective governmental processes, and the over-prescribing of medicine for chronic patients. The findings also identified effective GL practices such as: (i) prescribing medicines for only 1-2 months for some patient conditions/drug types and increasing the frequency of follow-up reviews, (ii) conducting a medicines return programme and (iii) having a clearly defined system of pharmaceutical product review. The outcomes of the study proposed key practices to support a Sustainable Health System at both policy and hospital levels. Within this were: (i) a representation of stakeholder views, (ii) the provision of healthcare education and communication, (iii) addressing self-health management issues and (iv) planned system review and improvement. The design and execution of such a system should be grounded in Thailand’s Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP) concept. Research Impacts In the GL research paradigm public healthcare, developing nations, human elements and life-cycle products have received limited attention; this study therefore contributes to the reduction of these gaps. The SEP concept was highly recommended by the United Nations, instead of Sustainable Development, in addressing GL practices in Thai culture to promote sustainable health standards and this underpins the focus and the originality/impact of this study. Practical Impacts This study recommends that staff in Thai hospitals focus on effective pharmaceutical management to contribute to the sustainability of good GL practices (as identified) and to the design and delivery of a Sustainable Health System in Thailand. The study presents guidance and support to do this.
|© 2017 CILT(UK). Reproduced with permission and in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
|Pharmaceuticals; Thailand; Public hospitals; Green logistics; Best practices; Effective management
|Identifying green logistics best practices leading to the effective usage of pharmaceuticals: a case study of Thailand’s Public Hospitals