Arnot Health stays ahead on PPE stockpiling

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ELMIRA, NEW YORK (WETM-TV)- Earlier this year Governor Cuomo announced New York State will mandate that every single hospital must have a stockpile of personal protective equipment or PPE.

Arnot Health has continued to keep their supply exceeding the governor’s expectations.

System director of supply chain for Arnot Health, Susan Houghtelling said, “we’ve even been building a stockpile since the original crisis — we continue to order supplies and stockpile and all the key PPE such as gloves masks gowns and so forth. So, right now, on average, we have between 200 and 300 days of supplies on hand.”

Arnot Health continues to source, and build their supplies not only from allocations from their normal distribution channels but also from alternative suppliers even when the cost is higher.

“We can get the best of, probably the worst pricing for these alternative suppliers,” said Houghtelling. She also prepares for hypothetical scenarios and calculates the chance of a spike in cases again for their spending.

“Once a week I’ll go into my calculations, plug in a projected spike number for any given day and put in our what-if scenarios; if we had to use 1,000 or 1,500 masks a day, what would our day supply be, and that still puts us well over 100 days supply,” said Houghtelling.

Arnot Health is confident that even with a spike in demand across the system, they’re “in good shape on pharmaceuticals.”

They have also been building up their supplies of medicine and vaccines. The issue they are facing is with nitrile gloves.

Houghtelling said they are “getting challenging to get, but we still have over a 90 day supply.” The next challenge Arnot is facing is the cost of raw materials projected to skyrocket.

Houghtelling added, “Gloves alone are going to go up 65% to 70% in raw materials. The same thing on masks and gowns– they use the same material, so that’ll be the next thing for us to contend with.”

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