Patient access to medicine is critically important year-round, yet physical access to medicine is not always as straightforward as it may seem. From challenges faced along the supply chain to making sure inventory levels are understood and able to be adjusted, patients’ uninterrupted access to medicine is complex, and during times of disaster, all these problems are exacerbated.
In an effort to identify and showcase innovations and novel partnerships happening in supply chains across the world, Healthcare Ready analyzed supply chains in three different countries during normal operations and emergencies. Click on each image below to read about innovative solutions supply chain components are implementing in response to challenges they encounter.
Healthcare Ready partnered with the CDC’s Division of the Strategic National Stockpile to develop and deliver a series of trainings on the pharmaceutical supply chain for emergency managers and public health preparedness officials. These trainings helped emergency managers understand the importance of keeping the supply chain operational during an emergency (and what exactly that entails).
During the height of the Ebola epidemic, Healthcare Ready developed job aides for US-based pharmacists on courses of action to take if a patient presented with symptoms indicating Ebola virus disease as well as best methods to partner with local health departments.
In collaboration with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), Healthcare Ready researched the use of pharmacy-based mobile text messaging capabilities in the even of a public health emergency . Research activities included gathering information and highlighting obstacles identified by private sector implementers and policy experts working to identify solutions that would benefit patients during emergencies. This research effort culminated in a report exploring the feasibility of pharmacies sending mobile alerts during public health emergencies.
During times of disaster, Healthcare Ready provides vital assistance to healthcare and emergency managers alike to ensure uninterrupted access to medicines and healthcare. From helping secure and direct donations to the shelters with the greatest need, to ensuring delivery trucks are able to make it through police barriers on their way to hospitals or pharmacies, we stand ready to ”help the helpers.”
Highlights from our disaster response work include:
We also serve as a member of the disaster health committee within the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD). As part of this group, we work on planning and policy considerations for ensuring access to medicine and medical supplies year-round and during disasters.
Healthcare Ready routinely leads and engages policy discussions on issues related to access to medicine. Examples of our engagement in this policy arena include:
In recognition of our work supporting state and local agencies, the National Lieutenant Governors Association passed a resolution encouraging all state and local officials to share plans and coordinate with Healthcare Ready.
Healthcare Ready regularly engages with decisionmakers on issues relating to healthcare resilience and patient access to medicines. Through talks, presentations, and participation in working groups, Healthcare Ready leadership provides subject-matter expertise on a wide range of issues and seeks to use our position between the sectors to help foster relationships and share information.