During the height of the pandemic, Medline launched a partnership with the joint venture of AshBritt-IEM Health to help supply COVID-19 testing, vaccination and infusion sites in the East Coast and Southern states.
The two disaster recovery and emergency management companies continue to be a staple in the communities they serve to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than 68 fixed sites and 20 mobile units for vaccinations and testing, AshBritt-IEM Health has vaccinated more than one million community members.
Setting up the fixed sites was no small feat as the joint venture faced changing state regulations and often only a few days to get a site up and running. The Medline Newsroom spoke with Rashid Chotani, MD, MPH, AshBritt-IEM Health’s Global Medical Director, about their critical role in the COVID-19 pandemic and the process for setting up their sites.
Newsroom: Tell us about the partnership between Ashbritt-IEM Health and the impact the organizations have made in communities during the pandemic.
Dr. Chotani: The Ashbritt-IEM Health team established over 68 fixed sites (infusion, vaccinations, testing, and alternative care sites), with over 20 mobile units for vaccinations and testing. To date the team has provided over 83,700 antibody infusions (mAb), more than 1.1 million vaccinations, over 200,000 tests, and cared for more than 100 patients in our alternative care facilities.
We provided augmentation support to administer mAb to COVID-positive patients, decreasing the number of hospitalization rates within communities. This relieved stress from the medical system and hospitals in the areas where we established operations. In the Southern United States, we were able to assist in the medical surge of two cities by standing up alternative care sites, absorbing overflow of COVID-positive patients that needed continued acute care.
By augmenting state and local health departments with testing and vaccinations across three states, the team was able to provide a service to the local communities and the states. These became large operations that relieved the burden of vaccinating and testing a whole state or local population, with already overworked health departments due to pandemic conditions.
Newsroom: Tell us about the process for setting up infusion, testing and vaccination sites.
Dr. Chotani: The AshBritt-IEM Health team collaborates with the client to determine the best locations for the sites. These sites were usually in underprivileged or underserved areas within the community. Upon location determination, the team is usually given 48 to 72 hours to stand up an infusion, testing, or vaccination site. The team has both erected tent structures, complete with hardwood flooring within this time frame, as well as established an operational center inside of a brick-and-mortar facility.
In order to have the necessary medical supplies and equipment on hand for rapid site stand-ups, the Medical Logistics team establishes distribution centers for warehousing and just-in-time delivery of all medical equipment and supplies. They then ensure the required items are on-site, assembled, and operational once the structure is established. The Site Administrative Officer ensures operational flow and medical safety compliance during the stand-up of the facility.
Newsroom: Tell us about your partnership with Medline and the importance of a reliable vendor partnership when trying to set up sites within 48 hours.
Dr. Chotani: Medline, chosen by our medical support contractor, has been a reliable partner for the last 14 months of COVID response operations, across six states. The company was able to overnight ship critical medical equipment to meet consistently tight deadlines for standing-up operations. The account manager began working closely with our chief of medical logistics to ensure we received competitive business account pricing, guaranteed quality of materials, and assisted in the navigation of Medline’s vast medical equipment and supply catalogue.
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