The top ASC supply chain issues? Allocation, allocation, allocation

Danilo D'Aprile, administrator of Orthopaedic & Specialty Surgery Center in Danbury, Conn., joined the Becker's Ambulatory Surgery Centers podcast to share his goals for 2021 and discuss his top supply chain issues.

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Here is an excerpt from the conversation.

Questions: What are the top supply chain issues for your ASC?

Danilo D'Aprile: Prior to COVID-19, the biggest supply chain issues were getting our hands on medications and supplies due to manufacturer shortages or recalls. For ASCs, I feel it is almost always a rat race to find the best pricing and see which vendor has the best price for the day. We are always trying to chase best pricing and availability based on what vendor or distributor you are buying it from.

Once we were hit with the COVID-19 pandemic, we were hit with so many other big issues. My personal biggest issue was with allocation, and we were placed on allocation for all major IV fluid and personal protective equipment. One unique thing that happened to me was in the tail end of 2019 I did a trial for this new cleaning solution. In October, November and December, we tried out a new cleaning solution that was placed at the surgery center. We were able to buy dry wipes and containers and fill them for cleaning. We weren't buying the typical disinfectant wipes in those three months. [When the pandemic hit] the distributor took the fourth quarter numbers and used those to determine how much allocation we got. I ended up not getting any disinfection wipes allocated to me in 2020.

I had to use all of the wipes I had on hand. and after that trial was over, and I've had to scramble ever since to try to find wipes, which has been a very tough endeavor. We've made it work. We, in one way or another, found what we need, but it has been a tough supply chain issue.

We have ordered our amount of allocation supplies every month, even if they weren't needed, just to maintain that allocation so it didn't drop off. We continued to do that so we don't lose supplies on allocation. I think that is the biggest for any ASC, and hospital, faced with a major issue when it comes to supply chain during COVID.

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