eNews September 24, 2020

The latest news affecting you and your customers… from the Independent Medical Specialty Dealers Association

How is COVID-19 affecting your business, your people, your customers? IMDA is a membership organization, and in times like these, we can all use some camaraderie. If you have a COVID story to share, advice to offer, or a warning to sound, send it to Mark Thill, IMDA’s communications director, at mdthill1913@gmail.com, with the subject line “IMDA COVID story.” We’ll compile them and send them back out to you.

KN95 masks don’t work

Up to 70 percent of KN95 masks fail to meet U.S. standards for effectiveness, raising risks of contracting COVID-19 for care providers and patients at hospitals and other healthcare organizations that imported masks from China, reports ECRI, a non-profit testing organization. Early indications from testing of nearly 200 masks found that 60 to 70 percent of imported KN95 masks do not filter 95 percent of aerosol particulates, contrary to what their name suggests.

Trade shows on wheels

Trade shows aren’t happening, so medical laser company Lumenis is creating its own show on wheels. From Sept. 28 through April 2021, the company will bring its devices to practitioners aboard what it is calling the LuMobile outdoor tradeshow exhibit. According to Lumenis, “When the LuMobile’s super-sleek, glass-encased mobile tradeshow booth rolls into town, professionals will watch live demos, talk with Lumenis representatives, and experience the devices for themselves. Attendees will also find fun red carpet events, ribbon-cutting ceremonies, food trucks and more.” The 20-city mobile tour will kick off in Chicago and make its way to New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Detroit, San Francisco and other cities.

The new normal of inpatient volumes

Inpatient volumes are approaching 2019 levels but the lost volumes have not fully recovered from the effects of the coronavirus disease pandemic, according to a Strata Decision Technology study, reports HealthLeaders. Inpatient procedures and surgeries did not surge “as expected” and are down nearly 19% compared to 2019 levels, according to Strata, causing a negative financial impact on provider organizations. The study also suggests that the new normal may be 90% to 95% of previous patient volumes. In addition to the declines in inpatient volumes, emergency department admission rates are still down 25% nationally. Meanwhile, outpatient volumes declined by 56% at the start of the pandemic but have only decreased 1.5% over the past 30 days.

Return: A new muscle, not just a plan

In less than four months, COVID-19 upended almost all expectations for 2020. Companies everywhere are now wrestling with the question of how to safely reach the next normal. Yet uncertainties – such as a resurgence of the virus — might scupper such plans. In a recent online article, McKinsey & Co. says that given the uncertainties and the need for experimentation and fast learning, the next step in the response of businesses cannot be thought of as a phase at all. “It will be open ended rather than fixed in time. A better mental model is to think about developing a new ‘muscle’: an enterprisewide ability to absorb uncertainty and incorporate lessons into the operating model quickly. The muscle has to be a ‘fast-twitch’ one, characterized by a willingness to change plans and base decisions on hypotheses about the future—supported by continually refreshed microdata about what’s happening. … And the muscle also needs some ‘slow-twitch’ fibers to set long-term plans and manage through structural shifts.