In the introductory chapter, the author provides background information on different pandemics the world faced before COVID-19 and how they started to shape the economies of the countries affected. It also provides a small briefing about the chains of medical supplies and how these chains have begun to change at the onset of a deadly pandemic. The author also touches on the previous pandemic like Ebola, influenza, and the ZIKA outbreak. The chapter paves the way to an excellent start for the book, and it was a clear and brief introduction about the whole COVID 19 pandemic issue and other complex circumstances related to it.
This chapter provides details about COVID 19, the origin, spread, and complications. It specifically details the processes involved in preventing, detecting, and responding to the pandemic. This briefing is both relevant and essential, as nearly after nine months since the beginning of the pandemic (at the time of writing), some people still do not understand this situation’s gravity. The chapter describes the approach taken by the government and private sector, as most companies and nations took massive steps in tracking, testing, and controlling its spread.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) & Supply Relationship Management
The chapter elaborates on PPE and its importance in protecting healthcare workers. It also touches on areas like Supplier relationship management, Customer relationship management, quality management, and other essential areas in inventory management. The chapter will help procurement managers of small-scale healthcare institutes, where most procurement operations are still done with manual systems. The chapter brings some innovation and emergency responses from different companies.
The views suggested in overcoming the challenges in medical suppliers, medical devices supply, and quality assurance are useful and practicable. The author brings some innovation and emergency responses from different companies, and this area is essential and exciting to read. Many industries and suppliers moved into sudden innovation as a side effect of COVID-19, the author touched more on this aspect as well.
The chapter provides an overview of the Shortages of medical supplies, specific problems, their implications, and measures to improve. It highlights governments’ role in disseminating real information, anticipating the needs, and setting national targets to produce this equipment. The author suggests few measures to overcome the situation, including government involvement and policy reforms in the medical supply sector.
Besides, the chapter discusses the development and rapid advancement of technologies. However, many countries have little access to quality devices and resources that are tailored to epidemiological needs. This applies in developing countries, where health technology tests are uncommon, and there are few regulatory controls to avoid the importation or use of non-standard equipment. It threatens undesirable business influences and jeopardizes the lives of patients.
Furthermore, the chapter highlights the setbacks with the supply chain from Asia, Europe, and United States, considering the global restrictions and stringent export conditions. The transportation of millions of medical equipment and doses of drugs within untested and complex chains makes it even more difficult for supplies to reach consumers. The unprecedented supply volumes seem challenging to speed transfers from development to production or manufacture.
Covers the re-engineering requirement and related aspects during a pandemic situation. It covers a wide range of topics: from the current medical technologies to possible re-engineering aspects. This chapter provides clear explanations of the functionality of some of the commonly known equipment, such as N95s, face shields, and ventilators. The case that the author presents on the single-use ventilator is interesting to read; however, these kinds of innovations should be conducted as national projects rather than a few isolated attempts. The author advocates the growing need for Telehealth/Telemedicine as one of the lessons of the pandemic.
In this chapter, a discussion on regulatory approvals of medical devices focusing on FDA and EU regulatory frameworks is discussed. The author analyses the FDA, EU’s regulatory framework and the shifts they have taken in response to the pandemic situation in manufacturing medical devices. The information provided in the chapter could be a useful guide to manufacturers and suppliers of drugs and medical devices. The author’s suggestion on introducing a standardized regulation for medical devices is agreeable; A robust and transparent regulatory framework, which is sustainable with fair market access internationally recognized by manufacturers, is needed to accompany the competitive market. According to the Author, a level of convergence should be encouraged in regulatory practices, so long as safety performance, effectiveness, and quality of the medical devices are assured. Such initiatives will lead to technological innovation and facilitate international trade. The exciting debate continues.
Believing that pandemic management has been referred to as the process of anticipating, responding, detecting, preparing, preventing, and controlling pandemics in order that deaths and adverse economic impacts are minimized, the author considers the term to be all-embracing as it describes all that must be done before, during, and after pandemics. Therefore, this chapter explains the need for preparedness so that there is a readiness to respond. Early detection through a sensitive surveillance system is necessary to know where and when the outbreak occurs to limit its spread.
Above all, the critical approaches and framework that could be applied in public and private sectors, coordinating, and rapidly responding to the outbreak, including control measures, are extensively discussed. Pandemics management would not be complete without analyzing what went right and wrong before and during the outbreak.
This chapter covers the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of writing, nearly nine months since the inception of the pandemic, we have seen that some countries did well in controlling the spread of the disease, while others are still struggling with it due to various factors. Therefore, the way forward would be to learn from the best practices and adjust accordingly to face the future. The primary lesson that the world learned from this pandemic is to realize that our medical technologies were not advanced as we thought, and some industries were completely helpless when fighting against the COVID-19. The author discusses his views on learning from lessons and developing new strategies to deal with future pandemics. He provides a briefing on how to transform these learnings for the future. A critical review established practices like lean six sigma’s popular “just in time” approach and proposes a new concept “Just-In-Case.” While the concept has not considered the external risk factors sufficiently; it is evident that some supply chains tend to collapse due to extremely thin inventory levels. The author also presents a valuable viewpoint on the role of WHO, which should be improved with the pandemic’s lessons.
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“All proceeds from the book will go to charities that help kids who lost a parent during this pandemic.”