Now, hospitals are preparing for a possible surge in the fall, although the size is unknown.
About 90% of hospitals and health systems are building safety stocks of about 20 critical medications, according to Premier Inc., one of the nation’s largest group-purchasing organizations. Premier says more than half are trying to build at least one month’s supply of medications, including those for patients on mechanical ventilation.
Such drugs, including sedatives like propofol and painkillers like fentanyl, are a priority, hospital officials said in interviews, even as some of them remain on allocation, meaning they aren’t immediately delivered in full because of tight supply. The U.S. government has made it easier for some controlled substances, like painkillers for Covid-19 related treatment, to be shipped.
Hospital officials concede they might not need the drugs if a second wave doesn’t materialize.