CEO Messages

Supply Chain Issues Only Adding to Hospital Challenges

COVID-19 has caused a number of challenges for our health care system and for our hospitals. Now we can add the extremely difficult supply chain issues to the obstacles facing our hospitals not only here in California, but throughout the country.

While hospitals experienced these challenges in personal protective equipment at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, now supply chain issues are impacting many additional equipment lines and drugs utilized by hospitals every day. A recent report by national health care consulting firm Kaufman Hall showed that 99% of U.S. hospitals and health systems surveyed reported challenges in supply procurement, shortages of key supplies, and significant price increases.  

The report included survey responses from 73 hospital and health system leaders from urban, suburban, and rural areas. Among the respondents, 78% said they needed to find new vendors for supplies during the pandemic, but most said their group purchasing organization or preferred vendors were at least somewhat effective in helping to get critical supplies.

Kaufman Hall made several recommendations for hospitals and health systems that want to improve their supply chains, including:

  1. Identifying historically challenging supplies and developing acceptable substitutes 
  2. Diversifying suppliers and partnering with several alternative suppliers 
  3. Focusing on inventory management and using technology to gain early insight into supply chain issues 
  4. Gathering supply chain data and building supply demand models per category or supply items, as well as sharing this data with vendors and requesting the same visibility from them 
  5. Managing vendors and thoroughly vetting all vendors 

CHA and the three Regional Associations — Hospital Council, Hospital Association of Southern California, and Hospital Association of San Diego & Imperial Counties — have been closely working with our hospitals to identify their immediate supply needs. This includes connecting them to California officials or the White House Task Supply Chain Task Force. Additionally, we have resources to assist in the identification and prioritization of supplies that are on container ships off the coast of either Long Beach or Los Angeles.

There is no wrong door if you are having challenges with supplies — please contact either myself, your regional vice president, or anyone at CHA. Like with all aspects of the pandemic, we are here to support our hospitals in providing the best health care to all Californians.

Other Items of Interest

  • I am a big fan of Dan Pink, author of such books as When, Drive, and To Sell is Human. He also does these mini-videos with some great authors and thought leaders. This particular PinkCast episode is about how great leaders solicit actionable feedback. Spoiler alert…they actually ask for advice. Great to watch if you have an extra 117 seconds.
  • Interesting link that was sent to me last week by a former college professor of mine — Ideas That Changed My Life. It helps identify the cognitive biases that we all have. For example, your personal experiences make up maybe 0.00000001% of what’s happened in the world but maybe 80% of how you think the world works. Interesting read and perspective.