This work focuses on improving the structure of a three-echelon blood sample collection chain operated by a health maintenance organization. The chain comprises clinics, where samples are collected from patients; centrifuge centers, where blood is separated into its components; and a centralized testing laboratory, where samples are analyzed. Under the assumption that some clinics can be provided with in-house centrifugation facilities instead of being assigned to centrifuge centers, a problem is formulated for identifying how many centrifuge centers should be established in order to optimally support the collection process. An exact dynamic programming (DP) algorithm and a fully polynomial time approximation scheme (FPTAS) algorithm are designed to solve this problem.
- Blood sample collection
- Facility location