COVID-19's Impact on the Medical Device Supply Chain
Over the last year and a half, the world's markets have proven how fragile they can be in the face of challenges. Things that were once taken for granted, such as toilet paper, canned goods, and cleaning supplies, were bought up in a matter of days, causing grocery store aisles to be left bare for weeks.
Almost all industries faced a similar problem. Lumber prices soared, delivery workers got more overtime than they ever imagined, and grocery pickup shoppers became more widespread.
COVID-19's impact on the medical device supply chain has a parallel story. Due to supply chain disruptions, certain items have soared in demand, and other essentials have become less accessible.
Staff turnover is at the forefront of the discussion when examining COVID-19's impact on the medical device supply chain. Many employees are overworked and unable to keep up with the physical and emotional toll of how their jobs have changed in the last year and a half. People have resigned from positions to take care of their health, work in other industries, or find remote work.
Different Demand of Products
The supply and demand of goods can be highly changeable during unpredictable circumstances. Many reputable hospital equipment suppliers are on backorder, causing other disreputable distributors to seem like the only option. The demand for essential care items has increased, while many other nonessential items have a lower need because they aren't used as much.
Shifting Patient Priorities
Many elective surgeries are now on the back burner with the increased focus on caring for COVID patients. Patients and healthcare providers plan these types of surgeries in advance. They range from things like fixing a shoulder injury to beginning treatment for cancer. Generally, elective treatments are for non-emergencies and help improve a patient's quality of life, but they can still be essential.
COVID-19 has clearly impacted all aspects of the medical field. The hope is that all industries have learned where their weaknesses are and have implemented strategic changes to mitigate future risks as other emergencies arise.