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The Coronavirus and the Healthcare Supply Chain: What Hospitals Need to Know About N95 Masks, Drugs and Devices

Published in: HFMA

Most hospitals are experiencing delays of three to five days on orders of N95 respirators, the masks used to protect healthcare workers from the spread of airborne illnesses, and are receiving only partial orders, said Chaun Powell, group vice president for strategic supplier engagement with Premier Inc. U.S. healthcare organizations typically buy more than 2 million N95 masks each month, and the majority are manufactured in countries that have stopped shipping to the U.S. because of increased demand in their own countries. All major U.S. distributors are using allocation protocols — that is, controlling the distribution of N95 masks so no hospital is shut out — and many providers are rationing masks, Powell said.

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