As I’m writing this, the world is dealing with an unprecedented pandemic, with the US it’s epicenter. The US is widely considered among the most proficient governments in the world, with among the finest health care anywhere. Yet, our governments at every level, state and federal, are struggling to mass resources to the problem. I’m a former Army officer who spent years working in logistics. I’ve seen first-hand the awesome capabilities of the military to organize itself to mass people and materiel to wherever the crisis exists. Now we’re seeing our government struggle to do the same thing in a health care system that simply isn’t set up to work that way. Plans for interoperability fall apart at every level. Shortages of medical personnel and equipment can’t be filled quickly enough because we depend on a supply chain that isn’t designed for a crisis. National stockpiles are insufficient for the scale of the problem. Making new equipment takes time. Trained medical personnel are in critically short supply in some areas, while elsewhere hospitals are inclined to hoard resources to protect against their own looming crisis. Today it’s the Covid-19 epidemic. Tomorrow it could be a Cat-5 Hurricane sweeping up the east coast. Or another pandemic. We’re un-prepared now, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Eventually, we’ll get this right as a country. In the meantime, we can each help in our own small ways.
MedkitsNow is an exchange for Hospitals, Medical Centers and clinics anywhere in the country to lend their support to each other. Kind of like an Ebay for the health care industry for critical medical staff, equipment and PPE. It’s a voluntary network, so the only way to make it work is to get as many medical organizations as possible participating. Please help us spread the word. If you choose to make a donation on our Gofundme page, here, you can be assured that every dime will go towards supporting, building, improving and publicizing the MedkitsNow initiative.
And look what came across my newsfeed – just now!
The Governor of California is sending ventilators to NY to help in their darkest hour. That instinct to help each other is strong, but if you read the article, California expects that equipment back before the crisis hits them in round 2. Clearly, there is risk involved, but that risk was evidently moderated by the belief by the CA Governor that he has enough data to predict when the next wave will hit and backfill their needs in advance. This is precisely the solution that we are putting in place right now. It won’t solve the big problems. But it could be just effective enough to relieve some of the pressure and, most importantly, save lives that might otherwise have been lost.