February 8, 2023

Session: Preparing for the next supply chain disruption

Editor’s Note

"The pandemic is to healthcare what 9/11 was to the transportation industry. Just like you will never fly the same way, you will never get your hip replacement the same way," Andrew Martin, MSN, RN, CPHRM, Patient Safety Analyst / Consultant, ECRI Institute, told the audience in the session, “Lessons from the Field: Preparing for the Next Supply Chain Disruption.”

Martin briefly discussed the history of supply chain disruption and how it has impacted healthcare. “Supply chain disruption isn’t ending,” Martin said, adding that we will need to expect it and therefore learn how to best manage it when it impacts healthcare again in the future.

Some of the reasons healthcare was so unprepared for the most recent supply chain disruption, stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, include international dependency and pandemic-related shortages. Martin offered some key long term management tactics that can be used when faced with supply chain difficulties, including:

  • demanding transparency
  • transitioning from a reactive to a proactive approach
  • focusing on digital transformation and artificial intelligence.

Martin also shared with the audience how to properly vet non-traditional suppliers, something many institutions turned to during the pandemic and will likely use as a solution again.  “This is not a new issue,” he added, urging the audience to be prepared and to know how to respond to any future supply chain crisis.

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