The COVID-19 pandemic has made the global healthcare industry sit up and awaken to the idea of handling shortages of essential medical supplies. The pandemic has created a situation where the world’s most powerful and advanced nations are facing a massive shortage of essential medical supplies like the personal protection equipment or PPE kits and ventilators. Such situations require proper handling via adoption of right supply-chain strategies and management practices. Improved management of supply chains via better networking with medical supply stores can help in the arrangement of the necessary medical health supplies, say expert at Surgical Supplies US.
Why are Shortages Worrisome?
Shortages of essential medical supplies and equipment can prove to be catastrophic for patients and the overall efficiency of the health care systems. This was evident from the increasing number of COVID related deaths and infections in Italy, the US and several other nations especially in the wake of lack of adequate PPE equipment, respirators, gloves, face shields and gowns. Consequently the World Health Organization too urged the industry and the governments to act quickly to boost supply, ease export restrictions and discourage speculation and hoarding of the essential supplies.
Tackling Shortages of Medical Health Supplies
Tackling shortages of essential medical health supplies requires development of a comprehensive strategy that aims to deal with both the demand and the supply side situations. Here are some ways in which shortages can be met:
- Encouraging best online medical supply stores to speed up the process of procuring essential medical supplies from the manufacturers and making them available to the hospitals and nursing homes.
- Incentivize manufacturers to produce more to meet the growing demand for medical supply products.
- Governments should ease restrictions on procuring the essential medical equipment and supplies from non-traditional sources.
- Discouraging suppliers and manufacturers to raise the prices of essential supplies.
- Governments and concerned authorities can issue emergency use authorizations for equipment and supplies that are crucial for dealing with the shortages in the system.
- Check the availability of hospital resources and divert non-critical patients to home care facilities with adequate equipment and facilities.
- Continuous monitoring of the demand, forecasting and placing of orders from medical supply vendors.
- Looking ahead and forecasting the next bottleneck in the supply system can help in dealing with future supply shortages. And this should be done for all medical supplies and not only the ones for which you may be facing a shortage currently.
- Sharing and not competing for resources or medical equipment that can easily be moved can prove to be quite useful. Pooling resources with other departments can help in optimizing inventory and deal with the certain types of shortages.
- Explore alternative procedures and options for providing the same type of health care.
Handling essential medical supply shortages is a must to prevent the failure of the global healthcare system. A joint effort by the policy makers, manufacturers, suppliers and consumers of the medical equipment and supplies is essential for dealing with the supply shortages.