COVID-19 showed many ASCs that just-in-time delivery models carry risks.
Missty Pearson, administrator of Fish Pond Surgery Center in Waco, Texas, joined "Becker's Ambulatory Surgery Centers Podcast" to discuss healthcare trends and maximizing supply chain.
This is an excerpt. Download the full episode here.
Editor's Note: This interview was edited lightly for clarity and brevity.
Question: What are your top three healthcare trends that you're following today?
Missty Pearson: With the uncertainties that we faced this past year in regards to the ability to get certain supplies, I think there's been a shift, out of necessity, away from that just-in-time delivery model for supplies — where we used to employ strategies to reduce inventory on the shelf.
I think there's a recognition that that type of strategy carries risks. That presents a challenge because it requires capital. We'll make those purchases, which have to be stored. In an ASC, that storage is prime real estate. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw how important it was to have control of those essential items that are needed for our business and to be able to minimize the risks if items or supplies are going to be depleted.
There's a focus on vendor connections and relationships. Where we used to have one primary vendor, it became necessary to order through multiple suppliers so that we could take advantage of allocations during supply shortages. Those connections also allow us to be able to have some control over spending if we know that price increases during these times add to the burden. I think there's going to be a move to be more flexible regarding those supply chain strategies.