The Northwest Healthcare Response Network (the Network) joins our healthcare partners across Washington in calling for a solution to the life-threatening chemotherapy drug shortage our nation is facing. One of the Network’s primary roles is to lead and steward collaboration and coordination among healthcare organizations during health emergencies or other situations that disrupt patient care across the region. Given the current shortages and impacts to healthcare organizations in our state, the Network is coordinating our partners across the healthcare system and the state to:
- To share information about resource needs, collaborate on current challenges and strategies managing the drug shortages.
- Convene subject matter experts from organizations across the state to collaborate on the development of clinical guidance and other tools for supporting patient care during the shortage.
- Develop strategies for mutual aid or other support to each other.
- Advocate for national solutions.
Susan Koppelmann, Director of Preparedness and Response at the Network stated, “We have received countless resource requests before during emergencies, as well as requests for coordination around drug shortages. To be called upon again to steward this process for Washingtonians in this current chemotherapy drug shortage highlights the unique skill set the Network has and our role in the full spectrum of healthcare response.”
The drug shortages are a dynamic situation, given evolving pharmaceutical supply. The Network convened subject matter experts and hospital leadership to assess the ongoing situation and is working with those partners shepherd the process of coordinating clinical guidance, and if necessary, to develop joint recommendations for the equitable allocation of these resources.
Onora Lien, Executive Director of the Network, shared, “Ensuring patients have the right level of care at the right time is the heart of our organization. We feel fortunate to have the long- standing relationships and trust among our partners that has been borne from many years of working together during crises. We are able to build upon this foundation to create the opportunity for providers and leaders to work in coalition towards the best possible solutions for the patients during this current crisis.”
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