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On the improvement of blood sample collection at clinical laboratories

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dc.contributor.author Grasas, Àlex
dc.contributor.author Ramalhinho-Lourenço, Helena
dc.contributor.author Pessoa, Luciana S
dc.contributor.author Resende, Mauricio GC
dc.contributor.author Caballé, Imma
dc.contributor.author Barba, Nuria
dc.date.accessioned 2015-03-19T08:37:09Z
dc.date.available 2015-03-19T08:37:09Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.identifier.citation Grasas A, Ramalhinho H, Pessoa LS, Resende MG, Caballé I, Barba N. On the improvement of blood sample collection at clinical laboratories. BMC Health Services Research. 2014;14:12. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6963-14-12
dc.identifier.issn 1472-6963
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10230/23222
dc.description.abstract Background: Blood samples are usually collected daily from different collection points, such hospitals and health centers, and transported to a core laboratory for testing. This paper presents a project to improve the collection routes of two of the largest clinical laboratories in Spain. These routes must be designed in a cost-efficient manner while satisfying two important constraints: (i) two-hour time windows between collection and delivery, and (ii) vehicle capacity. Methods: A heuristic method based on a genetic algorithm has been designed to solve the problem of blood sample collection. The user enters the following information for each collection point: postal address, average collecting time, and average demand (in thermal containers). After implementing the algorithm using C programming, this is run and, in few seconds, it obtains optimal (or near-optimal) collection routes that specify the collection sequence for each vehicle. Different scenarios using various types of vehicles have been considered. Unless new collection points are added or problem parameters are changed substantially, routes need to be designed only once. Results: The two laboratories in this study previously planned routes manually for 43 and 74 collection points, respectively. These routes were covered by an external carrier company. With the implementation of this algorithm, the number of routes could be reduced from ten to seven in one laboratory and from twelve to nine in the other, which represents significant annual savings in transportation costs. Conclusions: The algorithm presented can be easily implemented in other laboratories that face this type of problem, and it is particularly interesting and useful as the number of collection points increases. The method designs blood collection routes with reduced costs that meet the time and capacity constraints of the problem.
dc.description.sponsorship Alex Grasas and Helena Ramalhinho acknowledge financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, through the Severo Ochoa Programme for Centres of Excellence in R&D (SEV-2011-0075). The work of Luciana S. Pessoa was partially supported by HAROSA@IB (CYTED2010-511RT0419)
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher BioMed Central
dc.relation.ispartof BMC Health Services Research. 2014;14:12
dc.rights © 2014 Grasas et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0
dc.subject.other Bancs de sang
dc.subject.other Sang -- Transfusió
dc.subject.other Transport -- Planificació
dc.subject.other Laboratoris clínics -- Control de qualitat
dc.title On the improvement of blood sample collection at clinical laboratories
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dc.identifier.doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-14-12
dc.subject.keyword Blood sample transportation
dc.subject.keyword Vehicle routing problem
dc.subject.keyword Genetic algorithm
dc.subject.keyword Operations research
dc.relation.projectID info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/ES/3PN/SEV2011-0075
dc.rights.accessRights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.type.version info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion


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