System Dynamics Modelling for Covid-19 and Healthcare Supply Chain Management


We describe the real-time participatory modeling work that our team of academics, public health officials, and clinical decision-makers has been undertaking to support the regional efforts to tackle COVID-19 in the East of England. Since March 2020, we have been studying several research/exam questions that have allowed us to address the pandemic's current and near-future rapidly evolving epidemiological state, as well as the bed capacity demand in the short (a few weeks) and medium (several months) term.
Frequent data input from and consultations with our public health and clinical partners allow our academic team to apply dynamic data-driven approaches using time series modeling, Bayesian estimation, and system dynamics modeling. We thus obtain a broad view of the evolving situation. The academic team presents the model outcomes and insights during weekly joint meetings among public health services, national health services, and academics to support COVID-19 planning activities in the East of England, contributing to the discussion of the COVID-19 response and issues beyond immediate COVID-19 planning. In this first part of this webinar, we focus on the system dynamics modelling for projecting medium-term capacity requirements under different scenarios.
The first part of this webinar provides an example of general healthcare supply chain management, an extension of the traditional supply chain management. The complexity in managing healthcare supply chains offers opportunities for important and impactful research avenues in coordination and integration (e.g., new care models), mass customization (e.g., the rise in precision medicine), and incentives (e.g., emerging reimbursement schemes).
We provide a primer on supply chain thinking in healthcare, with a focus on healthcare delivery, by following a framework that is customer focused, systems based, and strategically orientated and that simultaneously considers clinical, operational, and financial dimensions. After identifying unique challenges and opportunities in healthcare, we offer an understanding of how concepts and strategies in supply chain management can be applied and tailored to healthcare. By using supply chain thinking, healthcare organizations can decrease costs and improve the quality of care by uncovering, quantifying, and addressing inefficiencies.