• Result Found In

Supply Chain Best Practices During The Pandemic

Supply Chain Best Practices During The Pandemic

Best Practices for Supply Chain Management During The Pandemic

Best Practices for Supply Chain Management During The Pandemic

The supply chain is the circulation system of the physician practice. Even if you have the staff and clinical expertise to deliver the best possible care, you need access to the right tools and supplies—and in the right quantities, and at the right time—to not only treat your patients, but also to run an efficient, profitable business.

Health care supply chains are experiencing even greater stress due to several factors related to the pandemic, including:

  • The rise in COVID-19 cases
  • Shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • The scramble for products related to a potential vaccine
  • The expanded use of telemedicine and hospital care at home, which one health care supply chain executive says accelerate the move to deliver more care in non-acute settings1

To help you manage your supply chain during the pandemic and beyond, we're sharing the following best practices for:

Click here to review the notes related to these best practices. In addition, we invite you to learn about Henry Schein Medical Solutions partners that can support your efforts in optimizing your supply chain.

PPE Inventory Workflow

Special attention should be paid to the processes involved with managing inventory, including:

  • Tracking inventory needs
    • Monitor patient engagement.
  • Ordering inventory
    • Order PPE according to supplier provided quantity guidelines.
    • Order PPE according to supplier provided time restriction guidelines.
    • Contact your Henry Schein Medical consultant to help you understand your PPE quantity and time restriction guidelines.
  • Adding inventory into stock
    • Confirm the quantity ordered is the quantity received and document variances.
    • Secure inventory until it can properly replenished.
    • Use unique identifiers to allow replenishment.
    • Use two-person verification to allow replenishment.
  • Removing inventory from stock
    • Use unique identifiers to allow removal.
    • Use two-person verification to allow removal.
  • Counting inventory
    • Minimally, count PPE inventory at the beginning and end of the clinical operations
  • Transfer Inventory
    • Use two-person verification to transfer stock from one location to another internal or external site to ensure accountability of the activity


Ensuring the proper security of supplies is critical during times of crisis.

  • Create and/or review supply chain management security policies.
  • Lock access to rooms and storage areas that have PPE whenever possible.
  • Utilize lockable, secured storage whenever possible.
  • Use two-person signoffs whenever adding or removing PPE.
  • Use personal identification mechanisms to access PPE similar to the offerings by Cubex (fingerprints, personalized access codes).
  • Use camera surveillance in PPE storage areas whenever possible.


Optimizing storage space and processes will help to maximize available inventory.

  • Centralized storage. Maximize the amount of PPE items that are stored under secure, centralized locations to reduce opportunities to access valuable PPE inventory and put procedures in place to ensure those who access these centralized locations are authorized and highly accountable.
  • Decentralized storage. Minimize the amount of PPE items that are stored in point of use locations to minimize the amount of diversion possible and put procedures in place to monitor and replenish these locations more frequently with PPE items.
  • PPE life-cycle storage. Create specific storage locations for each PPE life-cycle stage and label the PPE inventory as:
    • New
    • WIP (For Inspection, For Sanitization, For Drying and For Repacking, For Recycled Replenishment)
    • Recycled
    • Medical Waste

Medical Waste Disposal

Disposing medical waste properly is required to ensure safety and compliance.

  • Not all medical waste is infectious or leads to bodily harm or death if exposed. However, COVID-19 medical waste may be highly infectious and could expose staff to additional health risks.
  • As a general rule per your state health guidelines, clearly label the designated medical waste storage location and medical waste container (e.g. red bag) in the color red as Medical Waste.
  • Review the Model Guidelines for State Medical Waste Management, published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and consult your local state health and environmental agency for specifics on how to manage medical waste in your state.
  • For a quick summary, read MedPro's Guide to Managing Medical Waste Disposal.

Henry Schein Medical Solution Partners

The following Henry Schein Medical Solutions partners can help support the content covered in this checklist.

Medpod - Henry Schein Medical

Telehealth solutions such as Medpod, a platform available in in highly versatile configurations including a cloud-based version without devices.

MedPro - Henry Schein Medical

MedPro provides practices with a transparent, low-cost alternative for properly managing, removing, and disposing of regulated medical and pharmaceutical waste.

Cubex's MedBank Mini & Tower - Henry Schein Medical
Cubex's MedBank Mini & Tower

Cubex's MedBank Mini & Tower can reduce the high risk for the diversion of PPE as well as pharmaceuticals due to their on-hand inventory of controlled substances.

Vitalacy - Henry Schein Medical

Vitalacy is a continuous (24/7) hand hygiene monitoring system that tracks and encourages handwashing for better hygiene to help battle the spread of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).


  1. Please note that this guidance is subject to change, as data concerning the virus is continually changing, and accordingly it is important for the user to review guidance from relevant federal, state, and local government authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for up-to-date safety and infection control recommendations.
  2. The advice and checklists contained herein and on our website are not a complete list of guidelines that may be applicable to your practice. The content on this page is not intended to replace your thorough assessment of the most recent OSHA, CDC, and relevant State guidelines for COVID-19 or comprehensive training for your staff on precautions to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission.
  3. The information contained herein is intended to be informative in nature, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. The information was obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, but is not guaranteed. This situation is dynamic and continuing to change daily. Henry Schein does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any statements contained herein, or correct inaccuracies whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Dental and medical professionals must make their own business decisions and may wish to seek professional advice before acting with regard to the subjects mentioned herein. Nothing contained herein should be treated as legal, business, accounting, international, insurance, tax, financial, or other professional advice.