Covid 19 restrictions continue in many hot spot cities, but 14 states have begun lifting their restrictions as a very difficult April came to a close. These changes provide new challenges for us all, but for those in healthcare it means reopening of non-critical care services, broadened practice guidelines and increased demand for PPE supplies. Click to see current states reopening timing.
Guidelines on staff and wearing mask at all times, more intense disinfecting services between patients and managing the fears of patients still afraid to visit their doctor, provides challenges. Telemedicine is still a viable option when possible, but facilities are also preparing their staffs on the guidelines and ordering incremental supplies to ensure they are followed. Will this incremental demand strain suppliers of these critical items? Most likely and many sites of care are maintaining conservation approaches and stocking up where they can. Some of the leading healthcare systems indicate they are preparing for this balance.
“Mayo Clinic continues to closely monitor developments associated with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), including the availability of medical-surgical supplies. Health care facilities in the U.S. are experiencing sporadic supply disruption due to the unpredictable nature of the supply availability, specifically with personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves and gowns, etc. Mayo Clinic has implemented a robust conservation plan to deal with this challenge. This plan is designed to ensure adequate supplies are available when patient care warrants their use.”
St. Vincents: “We are taking proactive steps with our distributor and suppliers to ensure access to supplies. We are arranging expedited shipments directly from manufacturers, assessing alternative products and taking advantage of our abilities as a statewide and national system to make intra-hospital inventory transfers when appropriate. We have also implemented conservation measures, in anticipation of further supply chain disruption over the coming months due to COVID-19. At this time, we are not experiencing any issues with our supply inventories. We are following the updated CDC guidelines regarding suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases and the use of personal protective equipment. The safety of our caregivers and patients is our utmost priority as we all work to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and care for all those in need.”
For sites preparing for patients to return and increased demand of critical items, you should be evaluating your states guidelines, discussing these plans with your staff and evaluating your future needs to support. Working with your distributor and supplies early ensures you are engaged in this delicate balance while not over stocking valuable supplies. For AMA guidelines on physician offices read more. These guidelines will help you understand how to prepare and what you need to stock up on to ensure compliance and safety.