Optimizing sterilization logistics in hospitals

Joris Van De Klundert, Philippe Muls, Maarten Schadd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


This paper deals with the optimization of the flow of sterile instruments in hospitals which takes place between the sterilization department and the operating theatre. This topic is especially of interest in view of the current attempts of hospitals to cut cost by outsourcing sterilization tasks. Oftentimes, outsourcing implies placing the sterilization unit at a larger distance, hence introducing a longer logistic loop, which may result in lower instrument availability, and higher cost. This paper discusses the optimization problems that have to be solved when redesigning processes so as to improve material availability and reduce cost. We consider changing the logistic management principles, use of visibility information, and optimizing the composition of the nets of sterile materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-33
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Care Management Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Complexity
  • Logistic design
  • Optimization
  • Outsourcing
  • Sterilized logistics


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