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INESC TEC software helps preventing stockouts in hospitals and pharmacies

The KnowLogis - Expertise in Healthcare Logistics is an intelligent management system for the active and dynamic monitoring of the indicators of the most critical activities in hospital logistics. It estimates, quantifies and suggests correction and improvement measures.

21st May 2020

KnowLogis was developed by INESC TEC’s Centre for Industrial Engineering and Management (CEGI), in partnership with Glintt, in order to address the complex management of inventories of pharmaceutical products and clinical resources in hospitals, and it’s been used by the Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho Hospital Centre since February this year.

“The burden of hospital logistics and stock management was huge and complex. The existing solutions did not enable a dynamic approach to data analysis, essential to address the logistical issues identified by the hospital. With this smart dashboard, we predict a reduction in the average inventory value by at least 10%, as well as a decrease of 20% in the time spent in the entire process - from the identification of a certain need to the placing of purchase order. This will improve the operational efficiency of hospital logistics, thus increasing the service level and promoting better healthcare”, said Daniela Silva Maia, member of the Board of Directors of the Gaia/Espinho Hospital Centre.

 

Software provides an intelligent inventory report and the dynamic management of the warehouses

In order to develop this platform, INESC TEC used advanced methods of systems engineering and operational research e.g. simulation, optimisation and forecasting. Said methods “support management, needs’ forecasting, monitoring and coordination of expenses associated with medicines, medical devices and materials, which facilitates decision-making in hospital logistics”, explained Mário Amorim Lopes, the CEGI researcher responsible for the project, and Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Porto.

The intelligent inventory report and the dynamic management of the warehouses are some of the advantages of KnowLogis, the project that INESC TEC and Glintt started to develop in 2017, and is now in the implementation phase. This system automatically analyses the evolution of stocks of clinical material and medicines, while incorporating historical data and suggesting supply policies (cycle and security stock, dedicated space, replacement cycle, etc.). 

KnowLogis also offers advantages in the financial field, through budget monitoring and adjustment, as well as the coordination of purchases. In cases where there is no automatic coordination between budget adjustments and operational decisions, this solution will help monitor and correct budget deviations and simulate the financial impact of operational changes”, stated Ricardo Gil Santos, Head of Business Consulting Healthcare at Glintt.

Daniela Silva Maia also mentioned that the success of the project relied on “the creation of a triad with well-defined objectives: a hospital with daily operation issues concerning the identification and execution of orders, as well as the processes aiming to safeguard the level of services and budget control; INESCTEC, an R&D entity that aims to produce science and bring the state-of-the-art advanced analytics to healthcare; and Glintt, a tech and consultancy entity that combines the knowledge of processes and circuits with their reengineering potential."

The KnowLogis is supported by COMPETE 2020, within the scope of R&D Incentive System, namely in the co-promotion domain. The project entailed an eligible investment of 532 thousand euros and a FEDER incentive of 332 thousand euros.

The INESC TEC researcher mentioned in this news piece is associated with INESC TEC