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The latest fear among health care industry experts is that providers who depend on pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies plan on stockpiling their supplies in anticipation of the new millennium.
Concern over suppliers’ and distributors’ ability to provide uninterrupted flow of medicine and medical supplies have led some providers to make larger-than-normal purchases. The American Hospital Association (AHA) is urging providers to resist the temptation to hoard supplies, and is assuring that supply requirements will be met as long as all purchasers stay with their normal buying patterns.
"The prudent, responsible approach to year 2000 (Y2K) materials management is not to hoard or stockpile," says Jonathan T. Lord, MD, chief operating officer of the Washington, DC-based agency.
In preparation, however, the AHA recommends providers:
• Identify pharmaceuticals and medical/surgical supplies are mission-critical for patient care delivery, and the normal purchasing requirements for those supplies.
• Develop contingency plans with your suppliers and distributors to support your normal inventory needs for these mission critical supplies; identify any substitute items that can be used; and plan for managing potential supply interruptions.
• Expand existing emergency agreements between hospitals to include Y2K.