Over the past two decades, HCA Healthcare’s supply chain team has evolved to meet the needs of caregivers and patients during events as sweeping as hurricanes, floods and wildfires. Supply chain is an intricate, multifunctional service aligned with each division of HCA Healthcare to ensure facilities and staff have the supplies necessary to support high-quality care, even during a global pandemic.
It takes tremendous teamwork, organization and technology to keep supplies on hand and up to date. From surgical supplies to pharmaceuticals and disposable gloves, the system touches every aspect of facility operations. As the virus expanded globally, supply chain’s effort became one of unprecedented intensity, especially since so many products are sourced overseas and supply was threatened. From the start, this event aligned supply chain and the Clinical Services Group (CSG) more than ever before.
“That’s definitely true,” says Ron Powell, National Group Supply Chain CEO. “In the case of a crisis, supply chain becomes very much a logistics organization tasked with sourcing product and moving it around the country. Whatever the needs may be—from tents to PPE—we’re going to do everything we can to support our clinicians and hospital staff.”
During the pandemic, one link in the supply chain that’s seen an enormous amount of attention is the importance of conserving PPE—the garments and accessories front-line colleagues depend on when caring for patients with infectious diseases. “Our management of PPE has been a collaborative effort with HCA Healthcare’s Clinical Services Group to identify the appropriate uses of those products and take measures to conserve the products for sustainable use during this unprecedented event,” says Ron. “How do we, as a supply chain organization, best manage those products in light of shortages, allocations and growing demand?”