The winter storms in Texas provoked me to write this article as I have had multiple nurse practitioners’ message/email me about what they should do. Basically, there are some significant shipping delays happening right now (early March 2021) and many clinics are having a difficult time getting medications to their patients because many of the pharmacies and suppliers are backed up due to all the delays.
Listen up, THIS WILL HAPPEN AGAIN. It is inevitable that the compounding pharmacy, medical supplier, lab, etc. will run into delays or have issues. This is part of business. It can be from the weather or a pandemic. You just never know.
So, what to do?
ALWAYS have back up labs, medical suppliers, and compounding pharmacies for your niche practice! ALWAYS!
You never know when a particular third-party vendor will have issues on their end. This is something you have absolutely no control over, therefore you do not need to worry about it. What you need to worry about is having secondary systems in place for when those problems arise.
If you are a niche medical practice that utilizes compounding pharmacies to get hormones, medications, IV supplies, etc. to your patients and clinic, then you need to ensure you have accounts at 3 various pharmacies AT A MINIMUM.
If you utilize outside laboratories to process your clinics labs, then you need to have accounts at 3 different labs AT A MINIMUM.
If you order medical supplies such as syringes, ETOH wipes, needles, gloves, etc. for your practice, then you need to have accounts at 3 different medical suppliers AT A MINIMUM.
Listen, you will never know when one compounding pharmacy will be out of a VITAL medication that you need to keep your practice operational.
You will never know when a laboratory is backed up or they do not take your patients insurance.
You will never know when your medical supplier will be out of insulin needles and you need them within a week because you have 1 box left!
Do not allow these problems to arise before you have a contingency plan in place. It is just like having an emergency fund in your personal life. When you need it, you will be glad it is there. If you don’t have it and need it, you will be SCRAMBLING. Same with your medical practice. The operations of your practice are DEPENDENT on these third-party vendors. If they run out of medications and supplies, then you cannot conduct business!
This is a serious issue for the health of your practice.
Compounding pharmacy #1 at my men’s health practice is out of Ipamorelin and I have 3 patients who need a refill. My patients are busy men and want to maintain their treatment protocol. Guess what? We just contact compounding pharmacy #2 who has Ipamorelin and we place an order. Problem solved…
Medical supplier #1 is out of the 25g tuberculin syringes we use for our testosterone injections. We have 1 box left and have at least 10 patients coming in within the next week to restock their supplies. Instead of creating an inconvenience for the patient and forcing them to use something else, we simply contact medical supplier #2 to order some through them. Problem solved…
Laboratory #1 has been getting our lab results back to us late over the past 2 weeks because they are busy. I do not have vital lab results back for the patient’s initial evaluation. This is frustrating me to say the least. We begin sending patients to laboratory #2 to have their labs done until laboratory #1 gets their operations together. Problem solved…
If I had not had backups during these scenarios, the operations of my practice would have been significantly delayed. What does this mean?
- Unhappy patients because they want CONVENIENT care. Remember, patients want CONVENIENCE.
- Possible refunds and a decrease in my REVENUE.
- Plus, it just makes my practice look bad…
So, always have backups with all your third-party vendors. Ensure you have at least 3 accounts with laboratories, medical suppliers, and compounding pharmacies. This will prevent so many potential issues for WHEN delays and problems arise. It is not an IF friends, it is a WHEN…