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Planning for medical equipment supply chain disruptions

Posted: March 29, 2018

The Supply Chain Disaster Preparedness Manual from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) helps healthcare emergency managers and healthcare supply chain managers identify events that may impact their facilities, create plans to address supply chain disruption, and plan an all-hazards cache of medical supplies to ensure operations can continue during and after a disaster.

medical equipment

It doesn’t take a major disaster to cause disruption to the medical supply chain. We are on the downslide from a bad seasonal influenza season which by itself has caused a shortage of IV bags, flu shots, and both prescription and over-the-counter flu medications nationwide. Supply chain disruption can happen at any time.

The CDC manual serves as a framework for a coordinated disaster response with supply chain management as a focus. Topics covered include team structure, hazard vulnerability analysis, issues with planning and vendors, and discussion questions to consider.

It also includes detailed worksheets covering different medical departments, supplies needed, departmental expectations, and reminders to consider things not normally kept on hand (e.g., non-medical sanitary or comfort care needs). Non-medical departments within the facility (e.g., security or janitorial services) should also be consulted.

The CDC takes a whole-community or system-wide perspective to this planning effort. Bringing people or teams together from different parts of the supply chain ensures the disaster plans are more robust and more contingencies are covered.

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