Is COVID a turning point for sustainability in hospital supply chains?

"Scarcity has, in many ways, defined the COVID-19 experience in the U.S., from shortages in personal protective equipment to ICU ventilators and hospital capacity, to COVID test kits, to drugs like Remdesivir in hard-hit states. These shortages have added impetus and new dimensions to existing conversations around health care supply chains, some of which had originally stemmed from a climate-conscious, sustainability lens. As suggestions are put forth to re-evaluate hospital supply chain design, from procurement to waste disposal, this momentum can be harnessed to achieve the dual aims of bolstering pandemic preparedness and improving sustainability in the health care sector.

COVID-19 illustrates the need for greater resiliency within health care’s supply chain. Dependence on expansive global networks for raw materials, manufacture, and distribution of critical health care supplies created a pathway prone to breakdown during a worldwide pandemic. Of note, this pathway is similarly vulnerable to the climate crisis, as worsening natural disasters can disrupt critical junctures of the U.S. supply chain."

Genevieve Silva is a medical student. Cassandra Thiel is an assistant professor, NYU Langone Health’s Departments of Population Health and Ophthalmology.

They share their stories and discuss their KevinMD article, "Is COVID a turning point for sustainability in hospital supply chains?" (

This episode is sponsored by Tradeoffs, available on your favorite podcast platform.

Hosted by Kevin Pho, MD, The Podcast by KevinMD shares the stories of the many who intersect with our health care system but are rarely heard from. Welcome to The Podcast by KevinMD.

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