For those living in areas where Coronavirus is most prolific, the communities have felt substantial and devastating effects. As of the end of February, “more than 80,000” cases have been recorded across the world, but the largest outbreaks have been in China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea (Aljazeera, 2020). As a result, The CDC has recently suggested that Coronavirus will become a global pandemic (Lovelace, 2020). 

While the people directly affected are the primary concern, the potential effects on global economics as well as supply chain should not be disregarded. On Thursday, February 27th, the BBC reported that “Globally, the share price declines of the last six days have wiped out more than $3.6tn (£2.8tn) in value” (BBC, 2020). The potential impact on hospitals and health systems is yet to be seen, but healthcare executives and Supply Chain leaders should proactively plan for a Coronavirus pandemic. 

The outbreak of Coronavirus has the potential to disrupt hospitals’ operations by affecting Supply Chain management in several ways. First, medical device companies may have their manufacturing process interrupted if they are unable to secure some parts for their products sourced from affected countries. For example, many of these companies source their computer chips from China, which might soon be unable to provide the proper parts. The virus could also spread into pharmaceutical plants which would essentially make everything produced there ineffective. Coronavius spreading could also result in drugs and medical devices being in greater demand. All of these factors will compound and create a much larger effect together. If the virus disrupts manufacturers and increases demand for medical products, the end result will be extreme price increases and people not receiving crucial care (Lagasse, 2020).

There are some strategies healthcare leaders can implement in order to minimize the effects of Coronavirus. First, they can identify where they believe shortages will occur within their supply chain. After listing where vital shortages will occur, hospital leaders should find potential equivalents to their at-risk products. Executives can use FDA product information to discover equivalents that could be used in the case of a shortage (Celegence, n.d.). These initiatives should be conducted as soon as possible, and failing to be proactive might result in the inability to secure any essential products should Coronavirus spread across the United States. 

There is no doubt now that Coronavirus has become a threat to global health and economics. The virus has the ability to hinder supply chain operations as well as increase the demand for medical devices. This combination could be catastrophic to both patients and health systems that are not proactive and prepared.

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References

China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates. (2020, February 25). Retrieved from https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/china-coronavirus-outbreak-latest-updates-200225003320810.html

Dow falls more than 4% amid coronavirus stock rout. (2020, February 27). Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51664652?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/cyz0z8w0ydwt/coronavirus-outbreak&link_location=live-reporting-story

Lagasse, J. (2020, February 13). Coronavirus outbreak could increase demand but disrupt supply for U.S. healthcare companies. Retrieved from https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/node/139800

Lovelace, B. (2020, February 28). WHO raises risk assessment of coronavirus to ‘very high’ at global level. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/28/who-raises-risk-assessment-of-coronavirus-to-very-high-at-global-level.html

Substantial Equivalence vs. Demonstration of Equivalence – New EU MDR. (2020, February 5). Retrieved from https://www.celegence.com/medical-devices-substantial-equivalence-vs-demonstration-equivalence/

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