lab information system

How Struggling Hospitals Can Manage Supply Shortage As Demand Surges?

It is very common to see an acute shortage of materials like ventilators, ICU, staff, testing systems that can harm the heroic responsibilities of healthcare professionals during a peak season or the pandemic. More than ever, the right supply-chain and management practices should be followed appropriately to optimize inadequate resources, expand work potential, and eliminate the shortage.

When you focus on improving the supply chain, medical professionals become capable of doing their jobs flawlessly. The article talks about how struggling hospitals remove the odds and continue optimal health care.

Knowing Interdependencies and Accidental Results

Some healthcare systems have interconnected points of care, and their demands are not independent. For instance, the demand for a baby delivery room should not encourage any other points of care like postpartum or neonatal care. Interdependencies can generate unintended consequences.

Let us understand this with an example. ICUs reach full capacity use in any hospital, and physicians inform about shortening the length of stay for patients. The hospital should not create a worsening capacity situation by diverting patients from any points of care.
The patients should not need intensive care as a result of postponement. They should strictly focus on managing their current health to avoid future risks. Hospitals should not consider capabilities outside their walls.

Having Policies for Short-Term Demands

It may seem futile to make efforts one or two weeks before the explosion of demands and systems. Clear visibility into short-term future demands can allow hospitals to leverage opportunities to plan patient flow proactively. For instance, the sufficient amount of data on Covid-19 and its impacts can help care providers to make useful short-term forecasts. They can consider population density, daily testing rates, the processing time of Covid-19 tests, the severity of infection among people, and so on.

Having a note of these things can manage supply shortages and bottlenecks. You should invest in clinical laboratory software (Lab information system) to manage testing-related needs or other systems that help in respective management.

Synchronizing Resources across Organizations

This principle significantly helps in supply-chain management. The amount of inventory for a given demand decreases as the number of places holding inventory gets smaller. Centralization can assist in lessening inventory requirements as pooling correlate demands from different places. Here, pooling also means sharing information about inventory like its availability, quantity, location, etc.

During a crisis or peak season, hospitals should go one step further: pooling and managing inventory within their or across healthcare systems. Pooling of resources does not only mean materials inventory but also equipment that can be moved from one hospital to another. Staff should potentially e pooled.

Learning In Real-Time

A shortage needs creative technical and organizational solutions. Repurposing can help dramatically and bring innovation. It is important to keep the risk factors in mind. The data collected, analyzed, and shared in real-time can give you a glance at what works and what doesn’t.

With new approaches, hospitals should share appropriate information so the staff can learn and make the appropriate corrections. For instance, a lab information system works in real-time to let the staff handle sampling and testing related tasks proficiently.

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