Abstract for: Resilient Supply Strategies during Pandemics: An Exploratory System Dynamics Model

The last two years proved that a health-related crisis like COVID-19 could strain us as a society and the capacities of health systems worldwide. Health systems worldwide struggled to organize sufficient PPE and ventilators during health-related crises like COVID-19. It became clear that global disruptions, combined with lean medical supply chains that are prone to uncertainties, significantly affect health systems' ability to provide health care workers and patients with sufficient critical medical supplies. The question arises of how health systems can create prepared and responsive critical medical equipment supply strategies during health-related crises. Hence, it is relevant to identify and analyze supply strategies that can be used to organize critical medical supplies in preparedness and response to a health-related crisis. To discover potential bottlenecks in the combination of supply strategies used by a health system during pandemics, a system dynamics model was developed, focusing on the case of COVID-19 in England. Its analysis revealed that supply strategies' uncertainties and delays in setting up supply strategies significantly impact PPE and ventilator shortages. To decrease the set-up time and uncertainties, decision-makers need to act before crises, for instance, by implementing stockpiles.