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How Healthcare Providers Can Prepare for the Next Supply Chain

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of supply chain preparedness for healthcare providers. While federal and state officials are considering improvements to preparedness solutions, healthcare providers can take proactive steps to build a cushion into their supply chains.

Here are four things healthcare providers can do to prepare for the next supply chain disruption:

  1. Perform a supply audit. Work with your medical supply distributor to analyze your ongoing needs and develop a reserve supply strategy. This includes identifying your critical medical supplies and determining how many days’ inventory you need during a non-pandemic year.
  2. Create clinically acceptable substitution lists. Know which products within the same product category are appropriate substitutes. This information will be essential when shortages occur.
  3. Use suppliers’ warehousing space. Consider contracting with a medical distributor to store your stockpiles. This can be a cost-effective way to stockpile medical supplies without having to invest in your own storage space.
  4. Forge partnerships with a variety of medical supply vendors. This will give you access to a wider range of products and services, and it will reduce your reliance on any single supplier.

By taking these steps, healthcare providers can better prepare for the next supply chain disruption and ensure that they have the critical medical supplies they need to care for their patients.

Here are some additional tips for healthcare providers:

  • Have a plan in place for how you will communicate with your patients during a supply chain disruption. This may involve developing a FAQ page on your website or sending out regular email updates.
  • Be flexible and adaptable. Be prepared to change your plans as needed, depending on the severity of the disruption.
  • Work together with other healthcare providers in your community. Share resources and information so that everyone can benefit.

By following these tips, healthcare providers can minimize the impact of a supply chain disruption on their patients and staff.

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