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Feeling Down Under? It Might Be the Flu: How Hospitals Can Prepare

A doctor holding a sign that says, "Flu Season"

The high volume of flu cases in Australia, plus the recent catastrophic run of hurricanes and ongoing wildfires, could signal a tough season ahead for the U.S. Here are 3 tips on how hospitals can better prepare for the flu.

Is Your Medical Equipment a Part of Your Hospital’s Flu Preparedness Program?

Early indications are that this year’s flu season is going to be a strong one. In fact, a recent CNN article reported that Australia has experienced two and a half times more flu cases this season than the previous year.

Why does it matter what happens down under?

The U.S. flu season is often linked to what the Southern Hemisphere had in the season immediately before ours. Although not 100% indicative of what’s coming, the news has many anticipating a tougher flu season here in the states.

What’s more, the recent catastrophic run of hurricanes and ongoing wildfires are expected to further complicate the upcoming flu season, as the displacement of so many individuals is expected to interfere with normal medical routines.

Therefore, it raises the question: how severe is this flu season going to be?

We know that predicting the flu isn’t an exact science, but the conflux of recent events seems to indicate that this season might be more intense than others. In fact, many providers and consumers are already taking steps to respond to the warning signs.

Hospital Flu Preparedness
                                                                                                                                                         *Source: Modern Healthcare

How Hospitals Can Prepare

For some hospitals, preparing for a heavy flu season is easier said than done. Yet many supply chain and nursing teams are hard at work securing the critical equipment they need for the anticipated spike in patient census.

To support their efforts, we offer three tips to consider while preparing your equipment inventory for this year’s flu season:

    1. Reduce equipment repair and maintenance backlogs 
      Infusion pumps and ventilators that are overdue for PMs or are in need of repair during the flu season can result in equipment availability issues, excess rental costs due to downtime, and ultimately increase nurse and patient dissatisfaction. Hospitals can mitigate challenges and unnecessary costs by reducing repair and maintenance backlogs in advance of the flu season.
    2. Ensure rental equipment is maintained to high-quality standards 
      Don’t sacrifice patient safety and regulatory compliance in the pursuit of needed medical equipment. Instead, if you are renting equipment this flu season, dive into your provider’s cleaning and maintenance process. Ensure they are ISO 13485 compliant. And ask these 7 key questions about the quality of their rental equipment.
    3. Secure high-use, critical rental equipment early 
      The flu season drives increased rental demand for respiratory equipment, beds and therapy surfaces. During a severe flu season, the demand can outpace both providers and hospitals alike, leaving staff members to call around in search of the right device. Cut the risk and secure a flexible agreement for the critical equipment you need during the busy months. Not only can it guarantee access, but it can also reduce the wear and tear on your devices.

Please contact Agiliti if you would like to learn more about the steps you can take to get prepared this flu season. You can also visit our Resource Center to learn more.

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