Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name



Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

First Advisor

Alper E. Murat


In recent years an outstanding growth has been observed in utilizing various medical devices due to growing demand. When both the quantity and quality into account, the price of medical devices becomes a critical factor to maintain cost/profit balances in financial systems. As a result healthcare systems should put more emphasis on how many of the trays they buy and store as their inventory due to high costs. Adequate levels of reusable medical equipment (RME) inventory is crucial for many healthcare systems

due to the RME equipment being expensive. On the other, the RME availability for vital departments such as surgery, emergency, and ICU/PACU cannot be decreased despite the holding costs. For the healthcare delivery systems such as VA, any shortage of RME is not acceptable at all. In order to avoid this issue, in this study we developed a simulation based methodology to evaluate the RME inventory levels. First we deploy an inventory management method to perform brief analysis on data of RME

inventory to check both the current utilization levels of RME inventory and minimum level of RME inventory, demanded daily by surgical department in the hospital, by a heuristic approach for adjusting inventory counts of RME trays. This analysis is performed under two assumptions, i.e., one-day and twoday SPS turnaround assumptions. The RME tray inventory level is adjusted in this stage and further used to run the simulation with modified inventory to precisely locate the delays and shortages. We use discrete event simulation model with multi functions, one with SPS RME sequencing by prioritization of the trays and the other one with FIFO system for sequencing RME trays in sterilization department. By running both models we report on the required outputs and analyze RME sterilization process influence on delays and number of trays shortages. The proposed methodology of using simulation methodology proves to be an effective method in assessing the inventory levels in healthcare delivery systems.