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June 15, 2006 •
  Chicago, IL
Dear Colleague,

On June 15, Premier sponsored the inaugural meeting of the Premier Disaster Preparedness Task Force. The initial task force was
comprised of 50 individuals representing manufacturers, distributors, pharmaceutical wholesalers, food suppliers, Premier staff and a
number of hospitals that were impacted by Katrina and other disasters - both natural and man-made. These individuals invested time
to come to Chicago to discuss lessons learned from Katrina and to learn from one another how to better anticipate issues that could
arise in future events.

Abbott Laboratories generously hosted the event at their suburban Chicago headquarters. The objective of the day was to share best
practices among a small representative group of suppliers and providers to begin discussions on how to proactively prepare for future
emergencies and disasters. Specific focus was applied to four key themes - Communication, Transportation, Coordination, and

The agenda included compelling testimony from three customers who were directly impacted by Katrina - Frank Folino from Touro
Infirmary, Kary LaBlanc from Terrebonne General, and Brian K. Foster from Harris County Hospital. In addition, Bruce Blythe, CEO of
Crisis Management International led discussions on "strategic crisis management"; Gina Pugliese, VP of Premier's Safety Institute,
shared the latest research on preparation for avian flu pandemic; Leigh Ann Myers, Manager of Healthcare Initiatives, Premier
Informatics, discussed the challenges of coordinating the efforts of multiple relief and governmental agencies in her on-site role at the
Astrodome in Houston; David Shimberg, Manager of Business Continuity of Disaster Recovery, Premier, discussed the importance of
communications and rehearsal in the event of an emergency; and Mike Warmuth, Director of Global Engineering for Abbott Labs (and
co-chair of Abbott's Corporate Emergency Response Team) shared Abbott's detailed plans relative to international emergency

During the course of the afternoon, the collective group broke into four working groups to drill down further into the things that went
right in the wake of Katrina, the things that did not go as planned, and areas that demand improvement based on post-Katrina
experiences. The four themes of Communication, Transportation, Coordination and Supplies served as the guiding topics, and the
audience rotated through each of the facilitated sessions. At the end of this segment, one person was designated from each group to
present the most pressing changes needed from each of the subject areas.

The day closed on an emotional note, as a slide show depicting still photos that were taken of the speakers and attendees were
interspersed with images from Katrina and other recent disasters.

Premier will be taking the learnings from the day and sharing them widely among suppliers, members, and other industry stakeholders,
seeking additional input. Premier will also be hosting a conference call on 10/10/06 that will be open to all interested suppliers and
providers. The goal will be to share critical gaps identified by the initial task force. In addition, we will begin the ongoing dialogue
needed to develop a proactive plan to prepare for future emergencies and disasters that could interrupt the supply chain. For
additional information, a copy of the DVD or information on the October conference call, visit or send an
email to

Disaster Preparedness Task Force
Chair, Dave Edwards
Members, Andy Brailo, Don Hancock, Leigh Ann Myers, Gina Pugliese, David Shimberg, Margaret Reagan, Steve Spaanbrook
Summary of Breakout Sessions
Individual work teams were created to
begin understanding potential points of
failure, common “best practices” and
development of first-draft, high-level
suggestions to improve response by
providers and suppliers.
Key Topics:

                                    Supplies &
   Communications   Coordination                  Transportation
                    Communications channels are not as readily or easily prioritized
                     because they are used for a variety or purposes at different times
                     throughout the crisis.
                    Internet remained relatively stable and consistent. At times, was
 Lessons Learned

                     only source of reliable communications.
                    Media contact and information limited by radio and cable
                    Telephony challenges:
                        Toll free numbers and local land line numbers operate through
                         disparate systems. (eg. Inability to call a 800 numbers while a
                         local number with a tolled prefix would work; 800-555-1234 vs.
                        Cellular and paging networks vulnerable to tower and central
                         switch failures. Individual provider experience did not indicate
                         advantage of one carrier vs. another.
                        Satellite phones limited by weather and unobstructed line-of-
                         site to sky.
                Explore alternate and multiple communication
                 methods; VOIP, satellite, multiple cellular
                 providers, etc.

                Creation of deeper communication guides;
                 office, work, home, cell numbers. Creation of
                 formal call-trees.

                Apply for TSP Authorization
                 code to ensure priority in
                 restoring telecommunications
                 access and GETS program
                 access to bypass overloaded
                 phone circuits.
                    Requests for same supplies for same patients
                     came from multiple sources at the same time
                     (FEMA, distributors, local representatives,
 Lessons Learned

                    Difficult to predict what type of supplies need
                     to be kept on hand because the needs will
                     vary based on type of disaster (hurricane,
                     influenza, etc.)
                    Some areas of country have better
                     local/regional coordination. Highly competitive
                     nature of some providers challenges the
                     ability to share and pool resources.
                Clear, advanced identification of individual
                 roles and responsibilities; who does what for
                 whom and when? (Empowerment must be

                Creation of national internet site to serve as
                 clearinghouse for information sharing and
                Include other stakeholders in
                 future design sessions;
                 suppliers, GPOs, AHA, state
                 hospital associations,
                 government, public health, etc.
Supplies and Distribution

                    Stockpiling of supplies -pros and con. All
                     suppliers have electronic systems to trigger
 Lessons Learned

                     manual overrides if excessive products are
                    Temperature and limited shelf-life create
                     storage challenges.
                    Increased reliance on e-procurement
                     processes resulted in some inability to
                     manually complete core tasks. (eg. Large
                     storage warehouses had product that
                     couldn’t be reached because of power
Supplies and Distribution
                Creation of “core product supply lists” based on
                 type of disaster; natural disaster, industrial,
                 biological, etc.
                ER auto-substitution rules; (eg. 20cc syringe

                 substituted with 30cc).
                Greater coordination among suppliers; sharing
                 truck deliveries, etc.
                Creation of “emergency
                 ship to’s” should primary
                 delivery point by

                    All Distributors must have primary and back-
                     up routes planned in advance.
 Lessons Learned

                    Manufacturers must be flexible on “ship-to
                     locations”; e.g. temporary docks.
                    Government agencies must grant access and
                     help ensure safe delivery of supplies.
                    Fuel is as essential as are trucks and
                    When all routes are impossible, helicopters
                     become the only option.
                Create Mobile fuel storage depots and mobile
                 supply stations (i.e. Abbott, Dade).
                Get pre-authorization from Fed’s governing
                 authority to ship to effected locales.

                Create contingencies for all routes, including air-
                 drop emergency plan.
                Re-think “lean inventory” model
                 for critical supplies &
                Create NYC model of “integrated
                 command center” combining all
                 governmental agencies, all
                 relevant private companies and
                 provider stakeholders.
    For more information please visit:

           or send an email to

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