6 ASC supply chain considerations before reopening centers

The federal government has unveiled a guide for returning elective procedures, and many states are beginning to loosen bans on elective surgeries. As they do, ASCs are preparing to open up again.

But they will need to make sure they have the right supply chain strategy in place. Here are six considerations for ASC leaders ahead of reopening their centers.

1. When elective procedures ramp up again, centers will need to ensure their suppliers will be able to provide appropriate order volume. For some centers, this means a lower volume than normal to gradually ramp up, while others expect to have volumes at capacity and extended hours to provide needed services as quickly as possible.

2. Orthopedic and spine centers will need to make sure their implant manufacturers will be able to deliver implants for cases. Zimmer Biomet has reported slowing some operations when elective surgeries decreased, and Medtronic has shifted focus to manufacturing essential products treating chronic conditions and ventilators for COVID-19 patients.

3. It will be crucial to model and project case volumes to make sure centers don't experience a supply shortage. Administrators and business managers at the center will need to work closely with physicians on a strategic plan for boosting volume at the center and preparing to have the appropriate PPE, staffing, and materials on a daily basis.

4. In some cases, ASCs have had to lay off or furlough staff due to revenue drops during the pandemic. With a staff shortage, ASCs will need to automate office tasks such as billing and supply chain management to meet the demand for case volume increases.

5. As centers reopen, many are considering the best way to ensure patients do not have COVID-19 before undergoing anesthesia for surgery. ASCs may need to have tests on-hand for patients to take prior to surgery.

6. There may be drug shortages due to the coronavirus as companies focus on testing, treatments and vaccines. On Feb. 27, the FDA reported a drug shortage due to the pandemic without disclosing the drug. Some companies may have also shut down their manufacturing during the pandemic, especially if they are located in hard-hit countries.

More articles on supply chain:
Illinois Department of Health continues plea for surgery centers to donate PPE
Airbnb for ASCs — How a company is pairing surgeons with available surgery centers
The Joint Commission supports personal face mask use

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