PPE supply chain breakdowns can lead to surgical delays and other major headaches as vendors scramble to deliver orders. Improving your hospital procurement plans for PPE supplies can help protect your organization from inventory snafus and increased costs for much-needed medical supplies.
Assessing your current model and taking steps to ensure the facility is always stocked with high-quality PPE serves the medical staff and patient populations through better protection and care standards.
Assessing Your Current PPE Strategy
The supply chain was fairly smooth before the pandemic, but disruptions exposed vulnerabilities that hit the health care community hard. Losing access to essential PPE due to increased demand and reduced manufacturing capacity created disruptions in surgical procedures and patient care, as you likely know very well.
While the post-pandemic world is working to resolve supply chain woes, it’s a good idea to assess internal vulnerabilities and take measures to insulate your facility against future disruptions. One effective step many procurement professionals have taken is to categorize their database to differentiate products manufactured in North America versus those produced overseas.
Inevitably, many PPE products will originate in Asia, but you can diversify vendor selection with North American manufacturers to reduce geographical vulnerabilities and keep your facility fully stocked when backorders become a problem.
Curbing Supplier Dependencies
The distributor relationship is essential in health care, and great distribution companies streamline ordering, build process efficiencies and create price controls to aid budgeting. Many clinics rely on specific distributors because of the efficiencies they offer. However, vetting individual products and even introducing new vendors to your distributor inserts more control over the products you source.
Working outside of distribution is also common, and having direct contact with manufacturers/suppliers is a good means of reducing dependencies on high-volume consolidated companies. Smaller medical facilities especially benefit from direct relationships because their PPE needs are specific, and volume is not on the same level as large hospital systems.
Ultimately, you can perform due diligence on individual vendors to understand where the products are manufactured. Look for North American manufacturers and manufacturers that are not overly dependent on production in Asia. Work directly with these manufacturers or source products through your preferred distributor.
The Value of Shelf Space
Optimizing PPE is not limited to the ordering process. Shelf space is valuable, especially with the many distinctions between sterile field gloves, gowns and other products in varying sizes. Optimized means having exactly what is needed while making it clearly accessible and available on the shelf without excess clutter or unnecessary products to sort through before surgery.
Consider analyzing your shelf space to determine what is and is not essential, and pair it down as needed. Finding PPE products that are flexible in sizing is also a major space-saving strategy. Supplemental products, like our STA-DRI line, should fit within the inventory load without pushing into valuable shelf real estate.
At Sloan Medical, our One Size Fits All designs for booties, jumpsuits and all PPE eliminate time spent searching for sizing while also minimizing shelf space. If you really want to optimize space and product, single-size PPE that still fits and functions at the highest level is very effective.
Understanding the True Cost of Protection
Communicating with distributors, sourcing from a diverse set of manufacturing markets and building direct supplier relationships will help keep your shelves stocked with great PPE. The last piece of the puzzle involves ordering quality PPE while preparing for demand surges and wavering supply chains.
At Sloan Medical, our PPE is manufactured in North America, helping to create stability in the supply chain. In fact, when the supply chain was disrupted and PPE was in short supply, we were able to ramp up production significantly.
Sloan Medical manufactures the highest quality PPE with a full line of STA-DRI products designed for the maximum comfort and protection your medical staff deserves. Request a FREE sample to experience the Sloan difference.