More Industry Collaboration Needed to Help Hospitals Through Ongoing IV Solution Shortages

As healthcare reform advances, hospitals increasingly are looking for solutions that go beyond contracting to crack the cost and quality code. The shift to demonstrate quality is accelerating as hospital reimbursements become more closely linked to the ability to deliver improved patient outcomes at a lower cost.

A prime example is the current I.V. solutions shortage affecting the majority of hospitals and patients across the U.S, which is now expected to last through the end of the year.

In a recent survey, more than 70 percent of the hospitals we serve told us they were already spending significant time and expense on managing the I.V. solutions issue within their facilities, which also included some delays in patient care.

While no one is happy with this situation, we need to take a forward-looking view to manage through this difficult time. The I.V. solutions issue needs leadership across all parties. To properly address the needs of hospitals and ultimately the patients they serve, we need leaders across our industry to take measured steps to help educate, inform and effect positive change as it relates to these shortages.  
That was the impetus behind our recent I.V. solutions symposium, which took place May 13-14 in Dallas. We called upon a broad set of leaders to provide hospitals with additional strategies that they could employ to address the shortage, as well as communicate how suppliers and distributors are tackling the issue.

While we have been on the front end of helping hospitals work through allocation and patient care issues since this past January, we felt more industry focus could be brought to bear on the situation. The symposium demonstrated that even more guidance and protocols are needed to help hospitals successfully navigate through the ongoing shortage, especially as any further disruption in product availability could potentially put patient safety at risk.

Through the years, we've been helping hospitals work through and mitigate the effects of drug shortages. As leaders in the supply chain, we all have an obligation to the health of the U.S. population to do our part to ensure that supplies of this critical nature are available to meet the demand. We strongly encourage ongoing industry collaboration to mitigate the impact of this issue on hospitals and their patients, and ultimately successfully manage through the I.V. solutions shortage.


Jody Hatcher is president and CEO of Novation, a healthcare supply chain expertise, analytics and contracting company for the more than 100,000 members and affiliates of VHA Inc., UHC, Children’s Hospital Association and Provista. Mr. Hatcher has more than 25 years of experience helping hospitals drive down their supply costs through innovative and relevant solutions. Under his leadership, Novation has driven record-breaking member savings and consistently increased member participation across the company’s industry-leading contract portfolio.


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