IRVING, Texas — January 25, 2021 — From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals across the country have been facing extraordinary challenges in accessing adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE). To help expand the available supply of many of these items, Vizient Inc. entered into strategic partnership agreements with Encompass, Standard Textile and Prestige Ameritech. Since establishing these agreements, these companies have expanded production capacity and enabled Vizient member hospitals access to some of the most sought-after PPE in health care today.
“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Sourcing strategies that work during normal business conditions are not enough to answer the call for hospitals today,” said Bharat Sundaram, president and COO for Vizient. “We have acted on behalf of our member hospitals by investing more than $12 million of our capital to help suppliers bring new, domestic manufacturing capacity online and by leveraging our supplier relationships and sourcing expertise to respond to the ongoing PPE needs of those working on the front lines caring for patients.”
Building on an earlier agreement with Encompass Group LLC for 19 million disposable gowns, in August, Vizient announced a new agreement with the company to provide an additional 65 million AAMI level 3 disposable isolation gowns manufactured annually in North America to its member hospitals. Since then, Vizient has partnered to help Encompass start a new, automated manufacturing line for disposable gowns in the United States, bringing both supply and onshore resiliency for these products. The new manufacturing line is expected to be up and running in the first quarter of 2022.
Vizient has also partnered with Standard Textile to expand its US-based manufacturing operations for Vizient members. In the initial months of the pandemic, the agreement provided 1.4 million reusable fabric cover gowns, approximately 75 uses each; 1 million reusable fabric face masks, approximately 50 uses each; and 500,000 reusable plastic face shields with an unlimited number of uses, for Vizient members.
In August, Standard Textile joined the Novaplus Enhanced Supply Program, which provides Vizient members with supply assurance through globally diversified manufacturing and U.S.-based stockpiles. As a result, an additional 5.2 million reusable gowns, 1.3 million shoe covers, 1.5 million bouffant caps, 1.5 million skull caps and 1.3 million fabric face masks per year will be available for Vizient members who participate in the program. The reusable aspect of the products in this contract is significant and contributes to sizeable financial savings. As an example, 1 million reusable gowns equal approximately 75 million total uses.
Vizient’s commitment to Prestige Ameritech for nine million N95 masks over a 12-month period has also been extremely valuable to member hospitals. This product is all manufactured in the United States. Since the agreement launched in April 2020, approximately 700,000 masks have been delivered monthly to program participants. Working together, Vizient and Prestige Ameritech have been able to protect thousands more health care workers than would have otherwise been possible.
“These capital investments and commitments with PPE manufacturers are an unprecedented step by Vizient to support the wide range of hospitals that we represent, including many that don’t have the financial ability to secure and maintain the inventory necessary to ensure consistent supply for their staff,” Sundaram said. “Additionally, these investments demonstrate our support for onshore manufacturing of PPE, which we believe is critical to overall supply chain resiliency going forward.”
Posted January 25, 2021
Source: Vizient Inc.