The case describes the use of linen at the Apollo hospitals. Apollo Hospital in Bannerghatta Road Bangalore is a tertiary care hospital with a capacity of 250 beds. In 2013, Apollo Hospital spent INR 5.1 million on managing bed lines (consisting of bedsheets and pillow cover). Dr Ananth N Rao, head of quality at the Apollo hospitals thought that the cost of linen management can be optimized using mathematical programming techniques which can have a significant impact on the bottom-line of the hospital. Each bed in the hospital is given two bedsheets and a pillow cover; however, there was 2% additional usage of linen owing to various reasons such as linen becoming dirty, wet, etc. Apollo hospital keeps a safety stock of linen for two days and any linen sent for washing is returned on day d + 2. The objective is to develop a mathematical programming model to minimize the total cost of linen management.
The case is suitable for teaching large-scale linear integer programming model building within the healthcare industry. IBM CPLEX software is used for solving the mathematical programming formulation generated in this case. The problem has several hundred constraints and decision variables and requires special purpose software such as IBM CPLEX.