In the management of the blood supply chain network, the existence of a coherent and accurate program can help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the network. This research presents an integrated mathematical model to minimize network costs and blood delivery time, especially in crisis conditions. The model incorporates various factors such as the concentration of blood collection, processing, and distribution sites in facilities, emergency transportation, pollution, route traffic (which can cause delivery delays), blood type substitution, and supporter facilities to ensure timely and sufficient blood supply. Additionally, the model considers decisions related to the location of permanent and temporary facilities at three blood collection, processing, and distribution sites, as well as addressing blood shortages. The proposed model was solved for several problems using the Augmented epsilon-constraint method. The results demonstrate that deploying advanced processing equipment in field hospitals, concentrating sites in facilities, and implementing blood type substitution significantly improve network efficiency. Therefore, managers and decision-makers can utilize these proposed approaches to optimize the blood supply chain network, resulting in minimized network costs and blood delivery time.
One of the most important aspects of human life is health, which has a significant impact on other aspects of life. In this study, a two-objective mathematical programming model is proposed to integrate the blood supply chain network for both normal and crisis conditions at three levels: blood collection, processing and storage, and blood distribution. The proposed two-objective mathematical model simultaneously minimizes network costs and response time. The model is solved using the augmented epsilon-constraint method. To enhance the responsiveness to patient demand in healthcare facilities and address shortages, the model considers the concentration of levels (collection, processing and storage, and distribution of blood to patients) in facilities, blood type substitution, and supporter facilities. In blood type substitution, not every blood type can be used for every patient. Among several compatible blood groups, there is a prioritization for blood type substitution, allowing for an optimal allocation of blood groups based on the specific needs.
Materials and Methods
In this research, a two-objective mathematical programming model is proposed to design an integrated blood supply chain network at three levels: collection, processing, and distribution of blood in crisis conditions. The proposed model determines decisions related to the number and location of all permanent and temporary facilities at the three levels of blood collection, processing, and distribution, the quantity of blood collection, processing, and distribution, inventory levels and allocation, amount of blood substitution, and transportation method considering traffic conditions. Achieving an optimal solution for the developed two-objective model, which minimizes both objective functions simultaneously while considering the trade-off between the objective functions, is not feasible. Therefore, multi-objective solution methods can be used to solve problems considering the trade-off between objectives. In this research, the augmented epsilon-constraint method is employed to solve the proposed two-objective mathematical model. In this method, all objective functions, except one, are transformed into constraints and assigned weights. By defining an upper bound for the transformed objective functions, they are transformed into constraints and solved.
Discussion and Results
Although the two-objective mathematical model is transformed into a single-objective model using the augmented epsilon-constraint method, this approach can still yield Pareto optimal points. Therefore, managers and decision-makers can create a balanced blood supply chain network considering the importance of costs and blood delivery time. Sensitivity analysis was conducted to examine the effect of changes in the weights of the objective functions and the blood referral rate (RD parameter) on the values of the objective functions for three numerical examples. With changes in the weights of the objective functions relative to each other, the trend of changes in the values of the first and second objective functions for all three solved problems is similar. Specifically, when reducing the weight of the first objective function from 0.9 to 0.1, the values of the first objective function increase, while the values of the second objective function decrease when the weight of the second objective function increases from 0.1 to 0.9. The total amount of processed blood in field hospitals and main blood centers was compared for equal weights and time periods for the three problems. Additionally, the amount of processed blood in field hospitals is significantly higher than in main blood centers. This indicates that eliminating the cost and time of blood transfer in field hospitals (due to the concentration of blood collection, processing, and distribution levels) results in an increased amount of processed blood compared to main blood centers (single-level facilities), ultimately leading to a reduction in network costs.
This study presents a two-objective mathematical model for the blood supply chain network, integrating pre- and post-crisis conditions. Decisions are proposed for the deployment of four types of facilities, including temporary blood collection centers, field hospitals, main blood centers, and treatment centers, at three levels of blood collection, processing, and distribution. Additionally, inventory, allocation, blood group substitution, blood shortage, transportation mode, and route traffic (delivery delays) are considered for four 24-hour periods in the model. For the first time in this field, knowledge of concentration levels in facilities is utilized, with simultaneous existence of the three levels of blood collection, processing, and distribution in field hospitals. This problem is formulated in a mixed-integer linear programming model with two objective functions aiming to minimize system costs and blood delivery time. The proposed model is solved using the augmented epsilon-constraint evolution method. Sensitivity analysis is conducted for the weights of the objective functions, and additional experiments (RD parameter) are performed. The sensitivity analysis on the weights of the objective functions reveals that reducing the weight of the first objective function leads to a decrease in blood delivery time, while increasing the weight of the second objective function results in an increase in network costs. The investigation of the impact of reducing the amount of additional testing (RD parameter) on the values of the objective functions confirms that advanced equipment at the processing sites of field hospitals reduces network costs and blood delivery time.