We proposed a series of reforms that can be grouped into four areas: involvement of industry experts, a centralized procurement management. stronger political leadership and better supply chain governance. I highlight here what are the main practical aspects connected to these reforms.
Standardized protocols and guidelines: Developing standardized protocols and guidelines for resource allocation and distribution is essential. These protocols should consider factors such as population size, healthcare facility capacity, and the severity of the crisis. Standardization will help ensure fairness, equity, and consistency in the distribution process, reducing disparities and competition among states and entities.
Strengthened collaboration and communication channels: Establishing strong collaboration and communication channels between state and federal governments is critical. Regular and transparent communication should be maintained throughout the disaster response efforts. This includes sharing information on resource availability, distribution plans, and ongoing needs assessments. Coordinated efforts will facilitate efficient decision-making, resource coordination, and effective response strategies.
Improved stockpile strategies: Reforms are needed to enhance stockpile strategies, such as the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). This involves expanding the stockpile's size, diversity, and capacity to respond to a wide range of emergencies. Regular maintenance and monitoring of stockpile inventory should be prioritized to ensure the availability of functional and up-to-date supplies.
Better use of regional group purchasing: GPO associations could be used to band together the demand requirements of several smaller states, resulting in a more unified and stronger market presence for PPE and other critical supplies. State and local governments must improve their use of cooperative purchasing contracts through organizations such as NASPO and GSA to design regional supply chains, establish and maintain production agreements with regional producers, and rotate PPE consumption among healthcare entities during normal times. Interviewees also suggested that other organizations (such as GovBuy) could be used for this purpose, providing state procurement organizations with a leveraged approach to purchasing.
Comprehensive disaster planning and preparedness: Long-term planning and preparedness should be prioritized to enhance the coordination between state and federal governments. This includes conducting regular risk assessments, developing robust response plans, and conducting drills and exercises to test the effectiveness of coordination mechanisms. Comprehensive planning will enable a more agile and coordinated response during future disasters.
By implementing these types of reforms, the coordination between state and federal governments can be significantly improved, leading to a more effective and equitable response to future disaster events.