Before the Next Disruption: It’s Time to Future-Proof the Hospital Supply Chain


While COVID-19 brought unprecedented attention to healthcare supply chain vulnerabilities, events that cause serious supply chain disruptions happen frequently.

20 years of DISRUPTION

  1. September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks
  2. SARS Pandemic
  3. Tsunami,
    Indian Ocean
  4. 2005 Hurricane Katrina U.S. Gulf Coast

    Category 5 tropical cyclone affecting the U.S. Gulf Coast.
    IMPACT: Disrupted delivery of emergency supplies to hospitals and emergency shelters, including the Louisiana Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
  5. Cyclone Nargis,
    Sri Lanka
  6. H1N1 (Swine Flu) Pandemic
  7. Earthquake,
  8. 2010 Eyjafjallajökull Volcanic Eruption, Iceland

    Eruptions affected air travel across Western and Northern Europe for six days.
    IMPACT: Delayed exports of medical equipment and, most notably, time sensitive medications.
  9. Earthquake,
    New Zealand
  10. Earthquake & Tsunami,
  11. 2012 Hurricane Sandy U.S. Mid-Atlantic

    Affected the entire eastern seaboard; massive storm surges caused particularly severe damage in NJ and NY.
    IMPACT: Transportation shutdowns disrupted delivery of supplies and electric outages affected pharmaceuticals.
  12. Typhoon Haiyan,
  13. Earthquake,
    Ludian, China
  14. 2015 Warehouse Explosion Port of Tianjin, China

    The explosions affected one of the largest ports in the world.
    IMPACT: Postponed/rerouted exports of drugs produced by GlaxoSmithKline.
  15. Earthquake,
  16. Earthquake,
  17. Hurricane Harvey,
  18. Hurricane Irma,
    Caribbean and U.S.
  19. 2017 Hurricane Maria Caribbean

    Category 5 hurricane was the strongest to hit Puerto Rico in 50 years.
    IMPACT: 10% of pharmaceuticals manufactured in the U.S. come from Puerto Rico and 50% of U.S. hospitals received IV saline bags from a Baxter manufacturing plant there, resulting in a dire shortage nationwide.
  20. 2017 - 2018 Wildfires California

    Series of wildfires were the largest and most desctructive in California history.
    IMPACT: Delayed delivery of medical supplies to hospitals.
  21. 2018 Hurricane Florence Southeastern U.S.

    Affected Eastern U.S. Ports of Morehead, NC, and Wilmington, NC.
    IMPACT: Delayed availability of medical devices and medicines (due to flood waters that led to the need to check for contamination).
  22. Hurricane Michael,
  23. Drought,
  24. Floods,
    Mississippi Valley
  25. Fires,
  26. Fires,
  27. 2019 Mass Electric Blackouts Northern California

    PG&E staged electric blackouts to keep its lines from sparking wildfires.
    IMPACT: Electricity outages threatened a storage of pharmaceuticals.

Covid 19:  A Wake-Up Call to Fortify Your Hospital’s Supply Chain  if Not Now, When?


Global, national, regional, state, and local crisis events can occur at any time causing surges in hospital emergency room visits and patient admissions. These events are attributed to natural or man-made disasters, terror attacks, viral epidemics, and seasonal disease outbreaks. As seen with COVID-19, crisis events strain healthcare supply chains as the demand for durable assets and consumable inventory items spikes. Hospital can alleviate the strain on their supply chain with fully automated, clinically integrated supply chain solutions that help with inventory tracking, storage, replenishment, decedent management, demand forecasting, and master data management.

As hospitals rebound from COVID-19 they must fortify their supply chains in preparation for the next crisis event. It’s time to reimagine the healthcare supply chain. If not now, when?

Healthcare Supply Chain Recovery Playbook Download