Home' The Source : First Quarter 2015 Contents programs. It is up to supply chain managers to ensure that changes
have multiple positive outcomes, rather than reactively filling an
apparent capability gap.
7 Key Recommendations for the Supply Chain
1Engage your hospital epidemiology and infection control team.
The roles of hospital epidemiologists (HEs) and infection
control professionals (ICPs) may need deeper consideration
and possibly greater resource allocation. Without a doubt, HEs and
ICPs are crucial components of modern healthcare infrastructure.
Unfortunately, budget cuts and relatively low event rates have left
many hospitals with limited defenses in the event of an outbreak.
Infection control is a boundary-breaking endeavor; everyone from
the environmental services worker to the top hospital leader has
a part to play in increasing patient safety. Supply chain managers
are pivotal resources in coordinating team formation and solution
evaluation. The value analysis process in infection control can be
conducted relatively quickly, especially if the organization has
prioritized the e ort.
2Engage suppliers with solutions in infection control. Suppliers
in this space largely comprise distributors that provide gowns
and facial protection. However, specialized testing and mo-
lecular diagnostics suppliers have workflow and consulting arms
that can provide excellent recommendations---sometimes as a val-
ue-added service. If a contract exists with these suppliers, supply
chain managers should request additional services and periodic
consulting on workflow and patient care procedures.
3Investigate HE and ICP society recommendations. The
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and
Epidemiology (www.apic.org) and the Society for Healthcare
Epidemiology of America (www.shea-online.org) promote best prac-
tices. These societies are also prime resources for recommendations
and suggested solutions. Supply chain managers should assign a
team member to develop a coherent understanding of the supply
components of an e ective infection control strategy.
4Engage IT and Quality. Increasingly, healthcare IT systems
and some stand-alone solutions o er features that help
streamline data collection workflow and formulate appro-
priate responses. The vice president of quality is likely driving the
adoption and updating of these solutions. It is important for supply
chain managers to assist in the contracting and planning process
for these options.
5Talk to the clinical laboratory. Procedures for surveillance and
therapeutic drug monitoring start and stop in the clinical
laboratory. Lab budgets are strained, so laboratory managers
will sometimes delay implementation of a new technology until
physician orders rise to a certain level. Because many technology
suppliers o er rental options, the acquisition process can be short-
ened if supply chain managers set parameters that avoid constraints
and delays that come with the capital budget planning cycle. Today,
agility in hospital epidemiology and infection control is required,
and supply chain managers can provide that flexibility.
6Don't forget about the medical o ce building. Healthcare is
a continuum, with patients flowing between care settings
quickly and frequently. Infection control in the medical
o ce building, rehab center and beyond is something that is
infrequently discussed, but necessary. If your organization has
responsibility for supply and support services, consider engaging
this stakeholder group. Providing them with infection control
training and assistance can also enhance the perceived value of
the central facility.
7Engage HealthTrust. HealthTrust has specialized clinical prac-
tice teams with a broad view of approaches to solving hospital
epidemiology and infection control challenges. Supply chain
managers have direct access to HealthTrust sta and would benefit
from accessing the resources provided as part of your relationship.
Note: Members can view links to Ebola-related resources assembled
by HealthTrust by visiting the member portal. •
Continued from page 8
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