Abstract

Interruptions in the healthcare supply chain could very quickly cause significant disruptions in a healthcare facility's ability to provide services. Without life-sustaining drugs, medical and surgical products and even clean laundry, facilities would be unable to provide services for very long. Yet interruptions are possible if Year 2000 planning is not carried out effectively by both health facilities and suppliers.

For many hospitals and health facilities, Year 2000 planning efforts have only recently begun to focus on supply chain continuity. The supply chain refers to the network of suppliers that manufacture and distribute the tens of thousands of products used on a daily basis in patient care. Only now are healthcare organizations beginning to fully comprehend the breadth and scope of the problem and the complexity of possible solutions.

This article explains the scope of the problem and the reasons it presents such a significant challenge, and provides tools to assess the risk.