2022 began with an ongoing Omicron variant surge and industry-wide global supply chain challenges. Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) also remained high and providers continued to struggle with staff shortages. And yet the year was all about looking forward: utilizing the challenges and lessons learned during the pandemic as a catalyst for new and innovative solutions to ultimately make healthcare better and more resilient. These solutions were highlighted in the most viewed and discussed stories of this year.
1). $500 million inventory investment helps strengthen the healthcare supply chain
Medline invested an additional $500 million in incremental medical supply inventory to ensure product availability and timely delivery to healthcare providers. The investment, completed at the end of the second quarter of 2022, brought the company’s total on-hand inventory to more than $4 billion. Medline also increased its inventory of respiratory products in anticipation of a robust cold and flu season, and continued to add trucks and drivers to MedTrans, the company’s private transportation fleet, the largest of any product distributor in the U.S. In addition, Medline officially opened five distribution centers in 2022, including a new 1.4 million square-foot-flagship distribution center in Grayslake, Illinois, and facilities in Southaven, Mississippi, Jeffersonville, Indiana, and Montgomery, New York and St. Peters, Missouri. Since 2018, Medline has invested more than $2 billion in its U.S. distribution centers, manufacturing capabilities and IT upgrades to further its commitment to strengthening the healthcare supply chain and delivering superior customer service.
2). Supply chain leaders focus on collaboration, transparency and logistical solutions
Throughout the year, the Medline Newsroom spoke with industry leaders on the future of the supply chain and potential solutions for managing long-term and potentially unpredictable product demand. Stanford Health Care Chief Supply Chain Officer Amanda Chawla said a focus on resiliency is the new normal: “It’s not a matter of if a disruption will happen, it’s a matter of when. And so how do we get more agile? How do we become better prepared?” Supply chain leaders at Montefiore, Ardent and the University of California health systems discussed the new visibility of the supply chain across all functions and departments within healthcare organizations, resulting in increased collaboration, transparency and investment aimed at driving significant change. The University of Texas Medical Branch was among the healthcare systems prioritizing, diversifying and upgrading supply chain processes and stockpiles this year to mitigate the effects of future crises. The system has partnered with Medline to access more storage space and advanced logistics through the company’s 3PL program.
3) Helping providers reduce HAIs, optimize skin health protocols
The pandemic and resulting staff shortages upended and reprioritized infection prevention protocols at hospitals and other healthcare facilities throughout the U.S. resulting in a “significant increase” in HAIs. To help hospitals assess and address training, procedural and supply gaps, and to create strategies for improvement, Medline has conducted more than 350 clinical assessments since 2021 in three areas of care: central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), catheter-associated urinary track infections (CAUTIs) and pressure injury prevention. Desert Springs Hospital reported a 68.5% reduction in hospital-acquired pressure injuries after implementing recommended strategies following a comprehensive assessment. Another pandemic success story: Southeast Hospital achieved and sustained 0 CAUTIS for more than one year with help from Medline’s Urological Solution program. The Newsroom also highlighted Medline’s Skin Health and Infection Prevention advisory boards – meeting in person for the first time in two years and providing a lens into today’s healthcare challenges and solutions; an analysis of Post-Acute Care Infection Prevention Program assessment data, revealing hand hygiene, standardized practices and adequate training as the top challenges facing long-term care staff; and tips for enhancing cleaning protocols in rehabilitation facilities.
4). Medline receives sustainability award, moves to an ESG model
In 2022, Medline celebrated the company’s 10-year-commitment to sustainability which has evolved into a full Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) program. In July, Medline completed the solar panel installation at the company’s Uxbridge, Massachusetts facility, bringing the number of facilities with renewable energy systems to eight, with solar panels spanning nearly 3 million square feet of rooftop. Most recently, Medline received a SEAL Award for Environmental initiatives for the company’s sustainable packaging lab, which reduced waste by 455,000 pounds in just one year. Through the company’s global health and community impact programs, Medline donated medical supplies to international humanitarian organizations in 2022, supported organizations addressing community health equity, and sponsored a second annual employee Month of Service. The company also announced the transition to an ESG model, providing a broader, global and data-driven approach to the company’s goals and standards, all in an effort to make healthcare more sustainable and equitable.
5). Medline again named a top workplace
Medline again ranked high in top workplace and company recognitions in 2022. Forbes named Medline to its America’s Best Large Employers, America’s Best Employers for New Grads, America’s Best Employers for Women and America’s Best Employers by State lists this year. In addition, the Chicago Tribune named Medline a Top Workplace for the 12th year, placing it among other Chicago-area companies that successfully “recruit and retain the best employees while also cultivating loyalty.” Most recently, Medline was named among America’s Greatest Workplaces 2023 for Diversity by Newsweek.
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