Premier data survey predicts impending shortages in healthcare supplies

Jan. 23, 2023

Commonly used hospital supplies across 120 categories are likely to experience shortages in the near future, a new PINC AI data analysis finds. Most of the affected supplies are necessary to provide routine patient care and shortages may force providers to either identify product alternatives or delay certain procedures.

PINC AI data shows the majority of shortages will last a few weeks, moving across products and vendors within a category. PINC AI data defines a shortage as products exhibiting lead times of 8-24 days and abnormally high fulfillment times and/or order cancellations. This is roughly the same overall level of shortages that hospitals are currently experiencing, yet the rotation of shortages across individual products, driven by rolling backorders and sporadic delays, can mean new product category issues each week.

Of the top categories with predicted shortages, many have at least some exposure to energy restrictions in Europe, suggesting shortages in these areas could worsen as the crisis unfurls. PINC AI analysts identified 300 product categories where at least one primary manufacturer has production in the European Union (EU) and Western Europe – the main regions reliant on Russian gas imports that have been cut off since early September.

While it’s too early to blame the EU energy crisis, 10 of the top 15 shortage-predicted categories one month from now also happen to have some dependence on European manufacturing. For instance, PINC AI data predicts that nearly 21 percent of surgical tourniquet systems products and 15 percent of X-ray contrast media remain at high risk of being constrained by shortages one month from now. If manufacturing is impacted by energy conservation in late winter, these shortages could be exacerbated.

The situation remains dynamic as EU officials propose and implement various plans that could mitigate risks, including gas imports from other nations, energy conservation measures, stockpiling of gas and leveraging alternative energy sources. While current weather forecasts are predicting an unusually warm winter for the EU, the region continues to exceed gas storage targets ahead of the winter months in an effort to avoid industry shutdowns and power rationing.

Premier release