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Strengthening supply chains: Medline acquiring Hudson RCI brand of respiratory products and supply from Teleflex is good for EMS respiratory care

If COVID-19 has taught us anything about EMS supply chain management, it is that more options under one vendor’s roof is better for EMS agencies

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The expansion of Medline’s catalogue of respiratory products to include Hudson RCI helps ensure that providers can give patients access to the care they need.

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Sponsored by Medline

By Tim Nowak for EMS1 BrandFocus

More gloves ... more surgical masks ... more respiratory care supplies ... that’s been a common ordering theme over the past two years for many EMS agencies. What’s complicated this, however, is the supply chain disruption caused between manufacturer production volumes, vendor challenges to secure adequate product quantities and a high consumer demand.

Medline’s acquisition of Hudson RCI can help mitigate the risk of future supply chain disruptions and continue positioning the company as a leader in medical supplies. The acquisition complements Medline’s expertise in manufacturing and supply chain logistics to help ensure customers have the supplies they need.

In fact, this move has resulted in three major advantages for Medline customers within the EMS industry, all revolving around an increased opportunity for more supplies to keep up with an increased EMS agency demand.

Building a North American manufacturing chain

Medline’s acquisition of Hudson RCI offers some progressive disruption because a majority of Hudson RCI products are manufactured in facilities in both the U.S. and Mexico, which presents opportunity to fulfill demands because those supplies are now close to home.

Multiplying products

Medline had previously carried a large line of general respiratory and oxygen therapy supplies for EMS providers, but the addition of Hudson RCI’s line of products such as humidification, nebulization and bronchial hygiene creates not only a much broader and deeper portfolio of products but also additional resources and support. Where some vendors are limited in their manufacturer sources and quantities, Medline now has access directly to manufacturing sources, in addition to its already abundant supply chain of medical supply options. The expanse in this supply chain availability is the equivalent of having a robust mutual aid system in place – when your community has a need for more resources, they’re just a radio click (or in this case, a mouse click or finger tap) away.

Delivering new products for a new age

The dynamics of respiratory care and oxygen delivery have changed a bit as a result of COVID-19 patient care and personal protection needs. As an example, the practice of simply administering nebulized bronchodilator therapy in the back of your ambulance has now been complicated by the risk of adding more “traveling” airborne particulates into this already-confined atmosphere. Yet, the need to provide this therapy remains. Integrating filtered nebulizers into Medline’s product list provides all of us in EMS more of a “one stop shop” opportunity from Medline’ new respiratory portfolio. Combining other traditional Hudson RCI products like bubble humidifiers and high-concentration oxygen masks also adds more options for Medline’s EMS customers.

Talking about supply and demand

For the logistics folks reading this article – you get it! We haven’t traditionally had much of a need to talk about supply and demand and supply chain management in the past. Today’s EMS agencies – both large and small – have had to adapt into the lingo of the manufacturing world to embrace these terms and concepts, all while realizing that we (EMS) are an integral player on the side of the “demand,” while companies like Medline are doing their part to play an equal role on the side of the “supply.”

Visit Medline for more information.

Read next: Integrating infection control into the patient treatment process

Tim is the founder and CEO of Emergency Medical Solutions, LLC, an EMS training and consulting company that he developed in 2010. He has nearly two decades of experience in the emergency services industry, having worked as a career firefighter, paramedic and critical care paramedic in a variety of urban, suburban, rural and in-hospital environments. His background includes nearly a decade of company officer and chief officer level experience, in addition to training content delivery and program development spanning his entire career. He is experienced in EMS operations, community paramedicine, quality assurance, data management, training, special operations and administration disciplines, and holds credentials as both a supervising and managing paramedic officer.

Tim also has active experience as a columnist and content developer with over 200 published works and over 100 hours of education content available online, and is a social media influencer on LinkedIn within the EMS industry. Connect with him on LinkedIn or at