The healthcare supply chain and what we’ve learned since COVID-19

A high functioning supply chain has always been vital, but never was its true criticality more in stark relief than at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initial shortage of PPE made headlines everywhere. As I’ve recounted in this space before, our team at MedSpeed was able to play a role in supporting our clients as they worked to ramp up their management and distribution of these lifesaving supplies during this crucial time.

We have all learned a lot since spring 2020, and a recent Becker’s Hospital Review article asked healthcare leaders to weigh in on the supply chain and what they now realize. Here are some outtakes that I thought were worth sharing.

  • Reid Jones, CEO of UAB Medicine (Birmingham, AL.): The vitality of the supply chain is certainly among the top concerns facing hospitals and medical providers today. Unfortunately, it’s a multifaceted issue with no easy solutions.
  • John Mikesic, Executive Director of Supply Chain for University of Missouri Health Care (Columbia, MO): A year and a half ago it was, “Where am I going to get gloves?” “Where am I going to get gowns?” Now we may not be in that situation anymore; however, we still do communicate with our senior leadership in terms of where we stand. I think the supply chain disruptions will warrant increased time and effort, on a daily basis, as we move forward.
  • Christopher O’Connor, President and Incoming CEO of Yale (New Haven, CT) Health: We are ensuring that critical medical supplies have some sort of guaranteed supply or are within an available, owned stockpile. This is challenging from a logistics and cost standpoint, so it is a delicate balance.
  • Paul Rothman, MD. Dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine (Baltimore, MD): We are making the best of a complex and difficult situation, and as always, our focus is on doing everything we can for our patients, our communities and our employees.

While we have come a long way since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, continuing the work on ensuring a sturdy supply chain is ongoing and agility remains essential. In this vein, the collaboration muscles that have been built up between senior executives, supply chain leaders and partners like MedSpeed must continue to flex and develop.  We are all responsible for ensuring that providers get what they need so they in turn can deliver care to our communities even when we are confronted with the unforeseen.

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