INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Hospital Association recently surveyed 170 of its members asking if their facilities had suffered from supply chain disruptions that limited or altered patient care.
“They are experiencing some shortages that are impacting some elective or non-emergency surgeries, but those are getting corrected pretty quickly and getting resolved,” said Karin Kennedy, IHA Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety. “The supply chain issues are short-lived, so they are able to maybe go look for another supplier.”
All across Indiana, hospitals and health care providers are facing intermittent supply chain shortages and resorting to rescheduling appointments, trading supplies or seeking out alternative vendors.
“Right now it’s a thing called a bovie pad and it’s a grounding pad that is placed on patients who are going to surgery and it’s necessary for the equipment and the supplies and the things that we use in the surgical case,” said Linda Wessig, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer at Shelbyville Major Hospital. “We are sitting right now on a limited supply. We were supposed to get a shipment today. We didn’t get it. The supply people than just start reaching out, start making the calls to try to make the right connects and see where we go.”
Eric Martin, Executive Director of Meridian Radiology, said a shortage of the dye to inject into patients undergoing CT scans or MRIs may delay this summer’s planned opening of additional services.
“We might have to adapt to who we work with, who buy an injector from, who can get us contrast,” said Martin. “Shanghai is a facility in China that’s producing I think about 70% of the contrast we’re using in the United States. It has COVID issues. I think the plant was shut down for a while and they’ve recently opened back up to 25% and they’re working their way back up to 50% so when it’s down it causes problems for everyone across the board.”
Martin said when supplies are short, prices go up and health insurance companies are already locked into the reimbursement costs to providers.
“First off, can you get it, can you even get it? And if you can get it, what’s the price of it? Is the price now way too high to even make it even worthwhile where you’re losing money doing it?”
Providers contacted by FOX59 said that even as some services are being delayed or rescheduled, one critical component of Indiana medical care remains in short supply.
“There’s still an unprecedented blood crisis,” said Kennedy, “and the need to donate blood.”