HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) — At the onset of the pandemic, the medical supply chain weakened as hospitals scrambled to fine personal protective equipment.
When the coronavirus cases surged at the beginning of 2020, it crushed hospitals as people flooded testing sites. At a critical time when the healthcare workers needed personal protective equipment for infectious disease, hospitals watched the supply chain crash in real time.
“The increase of demand globally led to consistently back order shortages and allocations,” said Milrose Mercado, Harford HealthCare.
Hartford HealthCare said it soon realized it need to become self-sustaining and not rely on traditional distribution sources.
So, the health system took matters into their own hands.
A medical stockpile can be found inside a 54,000 square-foot warehouse. It houses just a fraction of Hartford HealthCare’s medical and cleaning supplies.
It’s just the beginning as the healthcare company is looking to secure a year’s worth supply or PPE.
At the moment, it has a six-month supply.
The procurement meant forging business relationships in the U.S. and overseas, primarily in Asia.
Milrose Mercado and Shared Fired oversee the supply chain. They say while quantity is important, quality matters.
“A glove is not always a glove. You got to source gloves that are acceptable to use in medical situations,” Fried said.
The network works closely with its infectious and clinical teams before buying.
“We talk about what a new normal will look like and an efficient system. This is what the new normal looks like,” said Keith Grant.
Keith Grant, Assistant Director for Infection Prevention, is on the frontlines. He says this collection not only protects his colleagues and patients, but prevents the virus from spreading from healthcare settings to communities.
“So, in multiple facet, this is huge. This is pretty, pretty significant,” Grant said.
To further grow its stockpile, it’s also working directly with factories, making sure production lines are manufacturing only for Hartford HealthCare.
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