Medical Supplies Plagued by Shortage

Medical Supplies Plagued by Shortage

March 20, 2018

Hurricane Maria highlighted a growing issue with medical supplies. The pharmaceutical industry is plagued by quality issues, manufacturing problems that are kept secret, and supply chain disruptions.

In previous posts, we talked about hospitals’ responses to the IV bag shortage. But according to the FDA, Hurricane Maria’s damage to the production infrastructure on Puerto Rico affected dozens of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. Months later, 10 drugs are still in short supply.

This post is based on the CBS News article, Why so many medicines are in short supply months after Hurricane Maria, by Walecia Konrad, Feb 12, 2018. Image source: Peopleimages / Getty Images.

Discussion Questions

1. What are the considerations a pharmaceutical company should contemplate when choosing a manufacturing location?

Guidance: Students should review location analysis, manufacturing strategies, and quality management.  If there is time or perhaps a homework assignment, students could be asked to research the pharmaceutical industry for the suppliers of, and demand for, IV saline or another generic medicine.  Consider assigning a two-page report: page one is background on the locations, supply chain network, quality issues for their assigned medicine; on page two, recommendations to improve quality, change locations, identify Continue reading

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US Speedskaters Armour Up for the 2018 Olympics

US Speedskaters Armour Up for the 2018 Olympics

Under Armour, a Baltimore-based performance apparel company, has gone to great lengths to reinvent the 2018 suits for skaters.

Their 2014 suits were too tight, too heavy, and had an annoying air vent that earned blame from many skaters for their failure to earn medals in the 2014 Olympics.

After four years of redesign and testing involving the athletes from day one, the new suits are now custom-made to perfectly fit each skater’s body in order to cut minute fractions of a second off the athletes’ speed.

This post is based on the Washington Post article, U.S. speedskaters work with Under Armour to redesign suits for 2018 Olympics, by Rick Maese, February 8, 2018.  Image source: David Madison/Getty Images

Discussion Questions
1. Why did Under Armour redesign its product?

Guidance: The 2014 suit designs didn’t stand up to Under Armour’s performance apparel promise, because the materials were too tight and heavy.  The poorly-suited design included an air vent the speedskaters called ‘annoying’.

2. What issues does Under Armour face that are of high priorities for today’s business operations?

Guidance: Discussion topics might include the challenges of innovating, overcoming quality problems, and competing in a global economy.

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Healthy Results from a Care Transformation

Healthy Results from a Care Transformation

OSF Medical Group has rolled out a Care Transformation initiative to 40 of its medical clinics in Illinois, with healthy results. Under the initiative, clinicians work in a multidisciplinary team to better serve patients. Every morning, the team meets to discuss the daily agenda, quality performance achievements and challenges.

This approach has proven successful in increasing the number of patients being seen, improving preventive services, ensuring treatment compliance, and providing patient-centered care.

This post is based on the Modern Healthcare article, OSF Medical Group Adopts Team-Based Approach Across Clinics, by M. Castellucci, December 16, 2017.

Discussion Questions
1. What is the composition of a typical team at OSF? Why does the nurse play a particularly important role?

Guidance: A team comprises at least one physician, a nurse, a nurse practitioner, a social worker, a care manager, and a medical assistant. Nurses help free up physicians’ time by seeing patients with common ailments and handling simple follow-up appointments. They also find ways to improve care. Job enlargement and enrichment strategies can be discussed.

2. Are the teams described in the article self-directed? What benefits can be achieved with such teams?

Guidance: The teams described in the article set their Continue reading

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