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How Henry Ford Hospital has adapted to overcome shortages during COVID-19 testing

Major shortages in supply chain created obstacle for health officials

DETROIT – From the beginning of the pandemic, testing for the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been a challenge for hospitals.

Before COVID-19, when hospitals ran low on supplies, they would simply order more from their usual vendor. But that changed during the pandemic. In order to ensure there were enough supplies to provide patient care, lab directors have become supply chain managers.

Dr. Frank McGeorge got a chance to see how Henry Ford Health System makes it work. You can watch his full story in the video posted above.

The Henry Ford Health System runs more than 1,500 COVID-19 tests each day, so keeping supplies in stock is a challenge. Incidentally, any time a change is made to anything -- from the types of swabs being used to the liquid the sample goes on -- the test process has to go through internal testing to make sure the change doesn’t affect accuracy.

Flu season will put even more strain on labs when they have to test for both the flu and COVID-19. Any combined flu and COVID-19 test will have its own set of supply requirements specific to the testing method, so do-it-yourself solutions will be limited.

There’s also the simple issue of numbers. Experts expect tests will be used heavily, depending on how the situation develops.


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