Diversifying supply chain: How ASCs can combat shortages

ASCs are still struggling with resource acquisition and supply management because of rising costs and pandemic-related shortages. 

ASCs have to be more creative to secure items that are unavailable or on backorder.

Kyle Dorshorst is the clinical director of Ambulatory Surgical Center of Stevens Point (Wis.). He told Becker's ASC Review the biggest challenge he faces at his center is maneuvering these supply shortages.  

"With ever increasing costs and shortages, the need to be creative and utilize resources has never been more crucial," Mr. Dorshorst said. "We have found it more and more difficult to obtain our supplies with several being on backorder and unavailable at various times." 

Rob Taylor, RN, clinical director of Constitution Surgery Center East in Waterford, Conn., said he has experienced similar troubles. 

"Manufacturer backorders, nationwide shipping delays and the scarcity of raw materials have thrust materials management to the front of the line in daily challenges," he said. "Pharmaceutical and medical supplies are a constant challenge to acquire and maintain a solid inventory on. Resources are limited everywhere, so much of the supplies from wholesalers are on allocation."

The solution: diversifying the supply chain. 

"Our approach has been to utilize various vendors to have multiple pathways for obtaining supplies and, at times, ordering something slightly different that is in stock and still fits our needs," Mr. Dorshorst said. "Our materials manager has been great at working through these challenges to get the supplies we need for continued operation."

Mr. Dorshorst's center also has had its sales representative look for a different solution a vendor may have — often a substitute product. 

"We have to be creative and agile, which is something that ASCs are great at," he said.

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