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When hospitals are rocked, Supply Chain must roll

Crisis management, disaster prep hinges on resiliency

When crises hit or disasters strike, the Supply Chain needs to bend but not break. Generally, healthcare organizations face two types of crises and disasters that can be classified in two ways: One involves a mass-injury/casualty occurrence or epidemic/pandemic that means a rapid influx of patients in a relatively short period of time; the other involves a weather-related event in which the facility is damaged and that more frequently requires a rapid evacuation of patients in a relatively short period of time.

For Supply Chain executives, however, the delineation is immaterial. Either way, clinicians and other caregivers need relatively quick and easy access to devices and products. Failure is not an option; delay is unacceptable but understandable; routine may be no longer, at least in the short term.

Whether hurricanes, tornados or galeforce winds completely destroy a facility; torrential rainfall swells river banks, overloads subterranean sewer systems and submerges the lower floors of a facility; or extreme cold and excessive snowfall buries transit routes, grinding daily activity to a halt, Supply Chain must be stocked and coded.

Healthcare Purchasing News has reported and shared numerous stories about the small, but consistently growing, company of Supply Chain executives and professionals around the nation that have earned their stripes from weather-related phenomena.

This year is no exception. HPN reached out to a small group of sources with firsthand and front-line knowledge about how crises and disasters impact supply chain performance. They include Christopher O’Connor, CMRP, FACHE, FAHRMM, President, GNYHA Services and Nexera Inc., and Chair, Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management (AHRMM) who helped his group navigate through Superstorm Sandy; Paul DiFucci, Director of Transportation for North America, Henry Schein Inc.; and Dave Zamsky, Vice President, UPS Capital Marketing. Here’s what they shared about strategies, tactics, techniques and technologies that can be used to maintain operations and order.


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