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When the COVID-19 pandemic began to impact supply chains, many hospitals struggled to acquire personal protective equipment (PPE) to help their staff stay safe. The fear was widespread – in a survey taken in March 2020, Premier Inc. found that 86 percent of health systems were concerned about PPE shortages. While vaccinations, widespread testing, and other protective measures have helped slow the spread of the virus, PPE shortages are still a major concern for many hospitals.

If your hospital needs help acquiring PPE, here are three ways a group purchasing organization (GPO) can help!

GPOs can help connect your hospital with PPE suppliers

GPOs are able to build relationships and networks that your hospital might not otherwise be able to access. When supply shortages began to impact hospitals, our GPO partner, Premier, was able to rapidly vet new suppliers to add to their network, which helped meet the overwhelming demand for PPE. Other GPOs were able to make connections with other industries (such as distilleries, textile manufacturers, and auto manufacturers) to fill supply gaps for hand sanitizer, isolation gowns, and surgical caps.

GPOs can help implement new technologies to track usage and meet demand

According to a 2021 report from HGPII, our partner, Premier, developed a software that used synchronized surveillance technology to analyze electronic health records. This helped providers forecast surges and strategize to meet demand when outbreaks impacted their hospital. With the help of this new tech, hospitals can plan for their PPE needs and adjust their usage accordingly.

GPOs make investments into domestic PPE production

80 percent of PPE is made in China and Southeast Asia. GPOs are committed to investing into a wider array of PPE suppliers, which can help alleviate shortages and shipping delays.Recently, our GPO partner Premier established partnerships with three key domestic manufacturers to produce PPE.

HE-Co-op is proud to be supporting all three initiatives: N95 respirators and surgical masks with Prestige Ameritech, level II isolation gowns with DeRoyal, and exam gloves with Honeywell. These relationships are strategically designed to diversify sources of key products, protecting providers and patients through a more secure supply chain.

While the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over yet, your hospital can count on a GPO to access the PPE your staff needs. With HE Co-op, you can save money, maximize supply chain savings opportunities, and access top tier suppliers and purchasing expertise for your hospital. Schedule a discovery call today to learn more!

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