Gloves, gowns and blue sterile wrap: What supplies ASCs are having trouble acquiring

While personal protective equipment has been on the forefront of ASC supply chain challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, some centers are finding it difficult to acquire basic supplies as vendors focus on pandemic-related orders.

Becky Ziegler-Otis, administrator of the Ambulatory Surgical Center of Stevens Point (Wis.), and Christopher McClellan, DO, of Altoona, Pa.-based University Orthopedics Center, spoke with Becker's ASC Review on the supplies they were having challenges acquiring.

Question: What are your top supply challenges today?

Becky Ziegler-Otis: Obtaining gloves, sterile and non-sterile, as well as gowns and drapes has been a challenge. Even more recently, we are experiencing supply issues with the blue wrap we use. The shortages have resulted in increased costs when they are available. These supplies are still purchased despite cost increases, further impacting the center from a financial perspective.

Addressing supply chain challenges requires a combination of working with alternative vendors, ordering through multiple vendors and looking at alternatives, such as investing in more pans to reduce the amount of blue wrap that is needed at the center. I would anticipate these challenges continuing into the near future.  

Dr. Christopher McClellan: Our biggest issue is now obtaining the blue sterile wraps for trays. There seems to be a terrible shortage of these. We are doing anywhere from six to 12 joint replacement procedures a day, so we are considering switching to a one-tray system.

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