ECRI Blog

Supply Chain Shortages Ranked Second Among Top 10 Risks Facing Healthcare Organizations

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Jan 28, 2022

ECRI’s Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2022 ranks supply chain shortages among the top three risks facing healthcare organizations. The ranking is for good reason: patient lives may be at risk if essential medical supplies and equipment are unavailable. This risk increases as global supply chain disruption continues to impact healthcare organizations. According to an October 2021 report on healthcare performance, at least 80 percent of hospitals reported supply shortages.

Shortages can stem from the impact of the pandemic, which has sometimes brought manufacturing to a halt. Others are the result of vulnerabilities in traditional supply chain planning, such as keeping limited amounts of products in storage and relying on fast delivery. Weather events and other force majeure incidents also play a role. Together, these create a cascade effect that causes many healthcare organizations to struggle to locate, purchase, and obtain supplies:  

  • Raw material shortages increase prices and reduce output. For example, shortages of resin impact the availability of plastic and magnesium shortages affect the availability of aluminum – causing issues for manufacturers.
  • Suppliers who rely heavily on offshore manufacturers that have been disrupted by the pandemic or global weather events need to find supplies elsewhere.
  • Supply chain practices and other pressures reduced organizations’ stockpiles of critical supplies. “Just-in-time’ supply chain models, designed to reduce the need for physical inventory, are upended when products can’t be sourced or delivered on time.  
  • Logistical challenges, such as ongoing trucking, shipping, and delivery issues brought on by the pandemic, delay delivery of critical supplies.  
Read More

Topics: Risk Management, Health Devices, Supply Chain, Technology Trends, Equipment Planning, COVID-19, Clinical Excellence, ECRI, Clinical Evidence Assessment, Evidence-based decision making, Value-based care, Best-practice evidence-based medicine, Leadership, Inventory

A Better Way to Manage Your Supply Chain Needs

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Aug 25, 2021

During the past year, we were reminded of the critical role that supply chain plays in clinical care and overall operations. While our industry has adapted and grown to weather the COVID crisis, now is no time to return to business as usual. The roller coaster ride has slowed, but not stopped; supply chain still faces tremendous challenges such as product shortages, geo-political implications, increased costs, longer delivery times, worker shortages, lack of transparency, and other inventory challenges. Consider the following:

Read More

Topics: Supply Chain, Technology Trends, Equipment Planning, Clinical Excellence, Evidence-Based Medicine, Clinical Evidence Assessment, Evidence-based decision making, Value-based care, Best-practice evidence-based medicine

Three Reasons for Switching from a Manual to an Automated Value Analysis Process

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line—but when it comes to navigating your hospital’s value analysis process, has it ever been that simple? This is especially true when relying on a manual process to manage complex value analysis decisions, where the sheer volume of information, number of projects and need for collaboration can pull you in several directions at once.

Moving to an automated process can definitely save time; but streamlining information access and providing evidence-based data enables teams to make decisions more quickly. This can increase cost savings as well as the delivery of quality patient care. Here are three reasons to consider making the switch:

Read More

Topics: Patient Safety, Technology Trends, Technology Assessment

Technology’s Role in Safe Integration of Behavioral Health and Primary Care to Improve Patient Care

Integrated behavioral health and primary care (integration) has been identified as a promising approach to enhancing patient care delivery, safety and quality. Technology tools, including electronic health records (EHRs), telehealth, clinical decision support (CDS), and standards-based interoperability, can enable integration among various disciplines and improve the delivery to more readily addresses patient needs. Reinforcing these opportunities, virtual care and telehealth have dramatically changed care availability and delivery, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More

Topics: Patient Safety, Technology Trends, Partnership for Health IT

Patient Safety and Digital Health Tools: What Are Providers and Developers Focusing On at the End of 2020?

Patient safety remains, as it should, a priority for developers of and providers who use electronic health records (EHRs) and other health IT. For example, ECRI’s Partnership for Health IT Safety has worked with the HIMSS EHR Association on projects on opioids and behavioral health integration. More broadly, providers and developers continue active engagement in the Partnership and other patient safety initiatives.

Read More

Topics: Patient Safety, Technology Trends, Partnership for Health IT

Outsmarting an Impossible Medical Equipment Budget

When Washington Adventist Hospital of Maryland hired ECRI Institute to provide equipment planning services for their new 170-bed hospital, they were in a financial bind. Their Certificate of Need (CON) budget for patient care equipment was only $33 million. But, after we completed detailed user group meetings, it was clear that the actual cost for medical equipment would be closer to $65 million.

Our client was not alone in getting caught in the CON budget squeeze. Currently, 35 U.S. states maintain some form of CON program—including all states east of the Mississippi, except Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. CON programs give the state government the power to determine whether there is a need for a new hospital or nursing home before it is approved for construction.

Read More

Topics: Industry Trends, Technology Trends, Equipment Planning

Spread Best Practices, Not Infection: Our Commitment to CDC’s Challenge on Anti-Microbial Resistance

Anti-microbial resistance (AMR) presents serious global concerns, now and in the future. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists AMR as a top ten threat to public health. Last year, there were 700,000 deaths worldwide from AMR. That number is expected rise to 10 million a year in 2050—more lethal than cancer—if we fail to change what we are doing today.

Google the term “superbug” and you’ll see close to 4,000,000 hits. The rise of superbugs—microbes resistant to powerful drugs—led the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to create the AMR Challenge, a year-long effort to accelerate the fight against antimicrobial resistance across the globe. CDC mobilized commitments from more than 270 countries and organizations around the world, including my organization, ECRI Institute. Action-based commitments are key. Without action, many nations risk slipping back into the pre-antibiotic era, compromising the success of major surgery, cancer chemotherapy, and other health care—and serious economic impacts, too. 

Read More

Topics: Patient Safety, Technology Trends

Reining in Unbridled Uses of Robotic-Assisted Surgery

A 2019 JAMA viewpoint article, Is It Time for Safeguards in the Adoption of Robotic Surgery?, explores the risks associated with the increasing, uncontrolled, and indiscriminate use of robotic-assisted surgery. We could not agree more.

For more than two decades, ECRI Institute has been emphasizing these risks based on our evidence assessments and patient safety work. We do not dispute the many potential benefits of minimally invasive robotic surgery procedures. However, we are solidly grounded in the “show me the evidence” camp. Our concerns fall squarely in three areas: patient safety and surgeon experience, evidence, and cost.

Read More

Topics: Industry Trends, Technology Trends

Knowledge is Power

Our evidence supports the advancement of care around the world. Read our articles, get industry updates and trends, and learn a little more about us on the ECRI blog.

Subscribe for Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

See all