How Hospitals Can Manage Supply Shortages as Demand Surges


How Hospitals Can Manage Supply Shortages as Demand Surges.

When the wave of the Covid-19 virus hit the world, it blew the globe with a rush of panic and terror. Hospitals faced sudden shortage and desperately needed masks, sanitizers, face shields, testing kits, PPE kits, oxygen meters, Infrared thermometers, ventilators, general medical instruments, intensive care unit (ICU) capacity. 

All the medical equipment suppliers, hospital equipment manufacturers, hospital equipment suppliers, and medical supplies company worked day and night to meet this sudden shortage of resources.

 Today, as the pandemic is still not over the healthcare sector, is working on the front-shore tirelessly for the betterment of society. We should learn from our mistakes and should keep ourselves better prepared for such emergency situations and future epidemics. 
Nothing can beat the good management and team of dedicated and skilled medical force, improvement of supply chain management is as crucially important. The development of a detailed strategy can go a long way and can help hospitals curb future crises in an improved manner.

This article aims to draw attention to the best supply chain and management practices for hospitals and healthcare providers so that they can better manage the resources.

Clear communication with Medical Equipment Suppliers and Manufacturers

In the situation of crisis, hospitals indulge in stockpiling, fearing that the medical instruments might run out of supply and they might face a shortage in the future. Many hospitals during the pandemic ordered respirators and IV solutions in bulk, thinking that they will have fair enough in case of patient overload. This approach worsened shortages for the facilities that followed the just-in-time ordering approach.

Keeping clear and open communication with the medical supply companies can help deal with the situation better as it leads to building supply chain transparency and also helps in avoiding wastage and bulk piling. This also helps hospital equipment suppliers to prioritize the stock allocation and provide to those facilities that need it the most.

Analyze Past Trends to Predict Demand

One way to avoid the situation of bulk buying or shortage is by reviewing the past purchases. By analyzing the historical purchases both in steady and spiked conditions, helps the clinical engineering team to better predict the future requirements and help in building buying strategies for the future. This process will assure adequate stock levels, prevent stock-outs, and predict surges in ordering.

Evaluate Alternatives for Critical Products

Sometimes, one cannot avoid shortages despite all strategies, as no forecast is full-proof. It is a clever idea to carefully plan alternatives for critical equipment as on when such a shortage occurs. During the coronavirus flu spread, many hospitals operating on the frontline faced shortages of ventilators to care for Covid-19 patients. While the hospital equipment manufacturers are working hard to overcome the shortages, many hospitals are looking for refurbished and ventilators that are available for rent. Practicing this strategy prevents the situation of panic and can help handle the situation in an improved manner.

Ensuring care and Functioning of critical equipment

Failure of critical equipment at the time of the crisis can prove to be the worst nightmare for any hospital or health care unit. To avoid such a situation, the clinical engineering teams should constantly track and check the quality of parts and services that they purchase. 

Selecting suppliers based on qualitative and quantitative criteria can increase the level of probability for optimum quality. Apart from the quality of the product purchased, the after-sales service that keeps the equipment in good running condition can be a parameter to select the supplier. Following such a strategy leads to better financial management and keeps the operations run smoothly.

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