Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, AHRMM and the American Hospital Association (AHA) have been tracking the COVID-19 situation daily, offering ongoing updates and the latest resources to the health care supply chain professionals.
As the COVID-19 outbreak evolves, AHRMM is working with the AHA and other AHA professional membership groups (PMGs), as well as members, public officials, personal protective equipment (PPE) vendors, donors, suppliers, organizations such as Strategic Marketplace Initiative (SMI), Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA), Institute for Supply Management, ECRI, and association and health care leaders to help address the challenges of the COVID-19 response and to support health care supply chain’s preparation and response to COVID-19.
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PPE Resources and Availability
Featured COVID-19 Updates
SNS Vinyl/Nitrile Blended Patient Examination Gloves
The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) now has vinyl/nitrile blend patient examination gloves currently in inventory and available to supplement state, local, tribal and territorial supplies if products cannot be sourced in the commercial marketplace. The vinyl/nitrile blend examination glove is FDA 510K approved and an acceptable substitute for the nitrile examination glove.
The vinyl/nitrile blend examination glove is a new type of synthetic glove that was developed based on vinyl glove production technology. Its material is compounded with PVC paste and nitrile, so the finished product has the advantage of both materials.
AHRMM Recommendations on COVID-19 for Health Care Supply Chain
COVID-19 was the perfect storm and exposed the fragile nature of the health care supply chain. Early in the pandemic, key supply chain channels in globally concentrated locations closed, leading to decreased production and exports of PPE, drugs and other essential supplies while at the same time there was a global increase in demand for these very same products. This has led many hospitals and health systems to rethink and transform their supply chain models. From exploring and expanding partnerships with peers, traditional and non-traditional manufacturers and community based businesses, establishing redundancy to lower or eliminate risk, leveraging digital technologies to better understand product utilization and anticipate needs, and updating supply chain strategies including:
- Moving away from a singular focus on product pricing to an evidence-based approach that improves patient quality and outcomes while lowering the total cost of care, principles of AHRMM's Cost, Quality and Outcomes Movement.
- Contracting strategies that include the appropriate evaluation and use of multi-source contracts, and a diversified vendor and manufacturer portfolio to ensure diversification exists not only at the vendor level, but that there is diversification in the manufacturers that vendors source from.
- A revaluation of JIT and Lean inventory management methodologies which has created an efficient supply chain in times of calm, but severely restricts our ability to flex in times of increased demand.
- Increase bi-directional supply visibility and transparency while addressing basic human behaviors to hoard supplies.
- Reassess operational and surge inventories as two separate inventories, or should they be viewed as a singularly managed inventory, one that extends upstream to the distributor and manufacturing levels and comprises the entire health care supply continuum.
- Explore the creation of clinically acceptable substitutes at an industry level rather than at an individual HCO/value analysis level. This would improve and strengthen the ability to adapt and ensure uninterrupted or consistent product availability in times of increased demand.
- What is the most efficient and effective approach to augmenting the SNS? Is it through state mandated DIOH, regional coalitions or each hospital building their own surge inventories?
- Frequent reviewing/increased usage of the the FDA list of essential medicines, medical countermeasures and critical inputs.
AHRMM Recommended Initiatives for the Health Care Supply Chain
AHRMM has put together additional recommendations to give the foundation for a global “control tower” approach to managing the U.S. health care supply chain, building resiliency, visibility and multi-directional transparency between raw materials suppliers and acute and non-acute settings. This, coupled with technology and cloud-based inventory platforms, could provide us with the unprecedented ability to effective manage and move critical products, supplies, equipment and staff to those areas most in need.
Additional COVID-19 Resources
AHA Updates and Resources
Since the outbreak began, the AHA has worked closely with CDC, Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies to ensure the health care field is informed and prepared to respond. The AHA has developed and shared a number of resources and updates to the COVID-19 webpage daily.
AHRMM COVID-19 Vaccines Resources
This webpage is intended to help keep the supply chain field informed of important updates related to the progress and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Virtual events related to COVID-19, offering ongoing updates and guidance.
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