Challenges, Creativity, and Commitment
By Ibby Smith Stofer
As we begin the new year, we face changes in our personal healthcare choices, and those who provide care are also seeing many significant changes. Looking at the effects of COVID-19 on individual lives, healthcare providers, and suppliers shows just how many things have changed in a relatively short timeframe.
Healthcare is dramatically changed. It is now more common to visit your physician virtually instead of in person. Unfortunately, some have decided to delay needed care or surgery as fear of going to the hospital or doctor exists for many individuals.
Front line workers and professional caregivers suffering from fatigue, mental stress, and shortage of PPE (who had ever heard of that term?) were flying from state to state to supplement staff. Healthcare has also been advancing initiatives that were not previously considered. Non-clinical staff working remotely, adjusting IV pumps or ventilators outside the patient’s room, and neighboring supply chain personnel joining forces to find what they need and when they need it are just a few of the significant changes that have been made in healthcare. The year 2020 has made some coin the acronyms of BC and AC care for “Before Covid” and “After Covid.” It is likely that some of the changes will become the “new normal” in providing patient care.
Representatives of suppliers are no longer making in-person visits. Surgeons and others are learning virtually, and companies are struggling to find ways to remain in touch with healthcare personnel who are consumed with their internal priorities and reduced access to capital.
The Healthcare Supply Chain plays a vital role in hospitals, and 2020 was a real opportunity to link arm and arm with them to provide what they needed when they needed it. Hospitals needed equipment badly, and we received requests from everywhere in the country. Our vendor partners were scrambling to provide their technology, and they too were relying on Med One’s creativity, responsiveness, and simplicity to accelerate financial solutions that would eliminate the cash flow issues of providers.
Med One is often at the center of any changes that affect our healthcare or vendor partners. While COVID-19 was certainly the largest crisis many of us had faced, being on the front line was not new to any of our people or processes. We were thrust into high gear, trying to meet the urgent and ongoing needs for medical devices as the pandemic peaked and slowed or moved from one area of the country to another. Fortunately, our employees understand that what we do impacts the lives of both patients and caregivers, and if that meant we had to work tirelessly to bring our fleet of medical devices to the customers in patient-ready state, we would and did deliver time and time again.
Our mission of making movable medical equipment available and our motto “we do one thing very well… whatever it takes” meant that our rental division personnel may have to work longer hours, drive cross-country, or whatever it took to live up to our own standard of customer care and satisfaction. Our field-based lease reps worked with vendor after vendor trying to determine what was available and how customers and Med One could get what they and we needed to help clinicians respond to the patients’ needs. Our equipment sales team worked feverishly to meet the increased demand when new devices were not available. Our biomed teams were pressed into service with very short timelines to turn equipment into a patient-ready state for delivery. There were no complaints, safety protocols were followed, and we lived up to our commitment of being there whenever and wherever we were needed.
With the dawn of the new year, we’ve looked ahead at what we can do to better serve both our healthcare providers and our vendor partners. Things will continue to be different. Things will continue to be challenging and likely require all of the affected parties to work outside their traditional comfort zones and find new ways to meet the unexpected!
We believe that we are ready to rise to these challenges and will continue to do whatever it takes to ensure that whatever is needed, whatever financial challenges exist, we are there to help. Thank you for your support and trust that you have extended to us. Whether you are a supply chain pro, a finance team member, a vendor representative, healthcare executive, or corporate leader of a manufacturer, we sincerely thank you and hope that we can help you solve issues and be worthy of your trust.