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HHS Wants ‘IT Control Tower’ for Emergency Supply Stockpile

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is considering a new approach to the Strategic National Stockpile, a “supply chain IT control tower” that would allow officials a full, comprehensive view of emergency supplies.

A May 15 request for information (RFI) describes the Strategic National Stockpile as a resource to “supplement state and local supplies during public health emergencies, limited displacements, localized disasters and terrorist attacks.” Lifesaving supplies in the stockpile are meant as a “short-term, stopgap buffer” during times of crisis, including the current pandemic.

HHS is seeking more coverage, insights, capability, and protection of the stockpile through a supply chain IT control tower.

“To allow for rapid response in the event of health emergencies,” the RFI explains, “the U.S. government is establishing a supply chain IT control tower to create visibility of supplies across the end-to-end supply chain.”

The supply chain IT control tower will connect raw material suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and points of care to create visibility, provide insights, and orchestrate response to public health emergencies. Specifically, HHS aims to monitor end-to-end inventory levels, distribution flows, demand forecasting, targeted distributions, and other capabilities.

HHS wants information specifically related to COVID-19 response, such as the supply chain around personal protective equipment, ventilators, and testing supplies. The agency is requesting public feedback about the supply chain IT control tower strategy by May 29.

Katie Malone
About Katie Malone
Katie Malone is MeriTalk SLG's Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.