ASC supply chain strategy is always evolving, but the pandemic exposed challenges and gaps in previous systems. Here's how two administrators are planning for this year:
Question: How will supply chain strategy change for ASCs? Will there be more investment to prepare for future global emergencies?
Note: Responses were lightly edited for style.
Matthew Ewasko. Administrator at Physicians Alliance Surgery Center (Cape Girardeau, Mo.): I believe facilities will maintain inventory on items that historically weren't kept on-site or purchased. A prime example of this was with N95 masks which normally weren't purchased for an ASC setting. This caused an issue 12 months ago when facilities were scrambling to find inventory available for purchase from suppliers, and then deal with fit-testing staff and putting respective policies in place. Our facility will continue to stock this item in the future in case we are faced with an emergency again at any point down the line.
Robert Lerma. Administrator at Blue Springs Surgery Center (Orange City, Fla.): The supply chain strategy has and will continue to change. Supplies such as COVID-19 testing kits and personal protective equipment will be evaluated when orders are placed based upon case volume and patient acuity. The challenge is to prepare for current case volume scheduling while future global emergencies become secondary to future planning.