These are truly unprecedented times. The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on our country, our economy and our lifestyle. Unlike a natural disaster that hits hard and retreats, COVID-19 is universal—impacting every market and industry, with hospitals being the life-and-death safety net for the world’s population.
This battle is of epic proportion, made even more difficult by an invisible enemy. I see our GPO as the weaponry in supplying our members’ caregivers (the troops) with the protective gear needed to endure and win this fight. The global demand for these products is also unprecedented—it is outstripping supply by a significant margin. Never have we had a situation where the entire world was in a race to secure these critical products, and the raw materials needed to create them, at the same time.
Another of our top priorities has been the health and safety of our colleagues who enable us to deliver on HealthTrust’s mission. The HealthTrust team has been working diligently to pursue all leads in securing PPE, ventilators, lab tests and other products critical for the thousands of caregivers battling COVID on the front lines.
The majority of our colleagues are working remotely and temporarily restructured into one or two of 13 work streams aimed at various aspects of the business, including vetting the thousands of supplier leads we have received. There are also teams focused on member support, developing clinical resources and alternative approaches to delivering care and the conservation and utilization of scarce supplies.
I continue to speak with leaders at many of our member organizations in various parts of the country to find out how the numbers of infected citizens are impacting them both from a facility and a health system standpoint. Even prior to government recommendations on social distancing, many had already enacted visitor restrictions; postponed elective surgeries, procedures and outpatient appointments; encouraged an increased use of telemedicine technologies; and were enacting all necessary precautions to triage patients appropriately to prevent the spread of the virus. We look forward to hearing your lessons learned, discussing what will constitute the “new normal” post-COVID-19, and the return to full staffing and schedules at physician offices and surgery centers once elective procedures reenter the market.
I believe this is the biggest test of all of our careers. It will be a defining moment for our country, our company and each of us as individuals. I know from experience that when circumstances are their most trying, our team is always at its best. Please see a list of HealthTrust’s resources, and let us know how we can further assist you.
Publisher, The Source magazine