June 15, 2009 | | Comments 0
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H1N1 pandemic will test your supply chains

Hi, it’s Scott Wallask. I read this passage in today’s Boston Globe about medical supplies to battle H1N1 swine flu:

Some hospitals said shelves usually brimming with surgical masks, used to slow the virus’ transmission, turned barren — and suppliers proved unable to replenish supplies in the standard 24-hour timeframe. Hospitals sometimes found themselves in competition with each other for supply reinforcements, and there were instances when departments within the same medical center raced to get their orders in first.

That sounds awfully similar to what George Mills, senior engineer at The Joint Commission, has been warning hospitals about for the last year or so when it comes to back-up utilities during disasters.

For example, “I am very concerned about the condition of our contingency plans,” Mills told attendees at last year’s ASHE conference.

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Filed Under: CDC/infection controlEmergency management

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Scott Wallask About the Author: Scott Wallask is senior managing editor for HCPro's Hospital Safety Center (www.hospitalsafetycenter.com) and the award-winning newsletters, Briefings on Hospital Safety and Healthcare Life Safety Compliance. He has written about healthcare for HCPro since 1998, with a focus on occupational and building safety, emergency management, fire protection, and infection control. Prior to joining HCPro, he worked as a reporter for several newspapers in eastern Massachusetts. He holds a BA in print journalism, magna cum laude, from Northeastern University in Boston. Contact Scott at swallask@hcpro.com.

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