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Healthcare logistics - a patient flow focus: What has been done?
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Logistics Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Logistics Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2012 (English)In: NoFoMa Conference: Book of proceedings / [ed] Juuso Töyli, Laura Johansson, Harri Lorentz, Lauri Ojala and Sini Laari, Naantali, Finland, 2012, 827-842 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Purpose of this paper

During the last years attention for healthcare logistics has increased along with the healthcare sector evolvements towards more process oriented business models. The Supply Chain Management: An International Journal recently published a special issue on supply chain management in health services (Issue 3, 2011). This is though a novel topic, with a lack of literature reviews on research related to this field. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to present an outline of helthcare logistics and supply chain management research related to patient flows.


A literature review was conducted on what is written in logistics and supply chain journals focusing on patient flow issues and practical logistics implication in a healthcare context, as a first phase. A second phase was conducted using a “snowball approach” to trace the “first phase” article´s references.


The field of healthcare logistics is still in its infancy, few articles are published in traditional logistics journals. However, most of the reviewed articles from the first search phase are published during the last years. The second search phase shows that the articles in the reference list were published in a wide range of journals.

Research limitations/implications (if applicable)

This paper is based on theories about patient flows and healthcare organization's capacity to provide service. The findings should be considered as conceptual, and provides a basis for further empirical and theoretical based research.

Practical implications (if applicable)

The results provide a basis for healthcare organizations and their managers, to build upon in their continuing efforts to develop and enhance more efficient patient flows.


This literature review responds to the absence of an overview on research in a healthcare context using theories based in the logistics and a supply chain management field.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Naantali, Finland, 2012. 827-842 p.
Keyword [en]
Healthcare, Logistics Management, Supply Chain Management, Patient flow
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-80584ISBN: 978-952-249-204-3OAI: diva2:547115
NoFoMa Conference 2012, 24th NOFOMA Conference, 7-8 June, Turku, Finland
Available from: 2012-08-27 Created: 2012-08-27 Last updated: 2012-09-04

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