June 15, 2006 •
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 www.premierinc.com/safety or send an
email to Disaster_Preparedness@PremierInc.com
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.
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
only source of reliable communications.
Media contact and information limited by radio and cable
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
Creation of deeper communication guides;
office, work, home, cell numbers. Creation of
Apply for TSP Authorization
code to ensure priority in
access and GETS program
access to bypass overloaded
Requests for same supplies for same patients
came from multiple sources at the same time
(FEMA, distributors, local representatives,
Difficult to predict what type of supplies need
to be kept on hand because the needs will
vary based on type of disaster (hurricane,
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
government, public health, etc.
Supplies and Distribution
Stockpiling of supplies -pros and con. All
suppliers have electronic systems to trigger
manual overrides if excessive products are
Temperature and limited shelf-life create
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,
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.
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
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