Back in the late 1960s and mid-1980s, Delta Air Lines Inc. advertised its services using a familiar jingle that went something like this:
“Delta is ready when you aaarrreee … Delta is ready to flyyy …”
Today, the COVID-19 Delta variant is ready when you are (especially if you’re not protecting yourself) and by what we’ve seen in the viral surge numbers, it’s also ready to fly.
The real question is whether healthcare organizations are ready for Delta. If they’ve learned anything from the bobbing, ducking, pivoting and weaving during the last 18 to 19 months of dealing with COVID-19’s demands on clinical service and the supply chain, it may be safe to say they are – or at least they should be.
Some still contend that more needs to be done to shore up the supply chain as less product has been making it to shore. They further argue the federal and/or state government should step in and take charge, if not take control.
Give the federal government credit for recognizing the value in private sector supply chain operations when roughly a quarter-century ago they switched out their depot system that served them well for decades in favor of the just-in-time (JIT) distribution system used by healthcare organizations for decades. Never mind that JIT has come under fire for all of the demand spikes and supply shortages during the pandemic.
Many private sector experts agree that within their realm a newly modified JIT model will be needed post-pandemic.
The real serious issue with this is that the federal government wants to develop this new solution seemingly without consulting with or involving the very experts working diligently within the system they want to adopt.
Imagine a medical supply czar, for example, making ill-informed, unrealistic edicts and fiats without meeting with a hospital supply chain leader, distributor executive or manufacturer executive for context. That would be like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration administrator trying to launch an Uncle Sam-branded ice cream chain without at least chatting with Ben & Jerry or Warren Buffett whose Berkshire Hathaway company owns Dairy Queen.
The answer is both simple and obvious: The feds – and state armchair supply chain experts – should recruit the professionals to direct, if not lead and manufacture, any “national” supply chain improvements. Bureaucrats and politicians should consult with the experts in lieu of holding public hearings for ersatz dramatic effect. Lives depend on it. Livelihoods, too.
Bottom line: We don’t want this Delta dawn to prematurely take anyone to the mansion in the sky.