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Supply Chain Issues at Intermountain Healthcare

Intermountain Healthcare is appealing to Utahns for assistance, as supply chain concerns have resulted in a severe shortage of medical devices both in the state and nationwide. According to officials, check your closets, attics, and garages for used metal crutches and other walk-assist devices. In addition, supply chain problems are being felt worldwide, as disruptions have resulted in shortages of critical medical equipment. The leading cause of the disturbance, according to experts, is the COVID-19 epidemic, which has been exacerbated by a lack of minerals, such as aluminum.

The interruptions, along with the deficit, have resulted in a “historic low level” of medical supplies at hospitals and clinics across the country. According to Dr. Joey Kamerath, a senior medical director for rehabilitation at Intermountain Healthcare, the supply chain’s growing shortage and instability will have a significant impact on patient care. For example, officials foresee a jump in demand for walk-assist devices and supplies in November and December, which is the busiest time of year for orthopedic surgery, according to Kamerath.

Winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding account for some increase, but he stressed that the need would extend beyond orthopedic treatments. Even though demand is growing, officials say no one knows when supply will keep up. They argued during a panel discussion on Monday that the situation is unusual.

The inability to order materials has prompted Intermountain Healthcare, University of Utah Health, Steward Health, and the Utah Hospital Association to establish LeanOnUtah, a statewide donation campaign. LeanOnUtah.com provides a list of sites where supplies are being collected across the state. Youth groups, neighborhoods, and communities are also encouraged to organize campaigns to manage the in-demand equipment and deliver them to specified donation centers.

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