With growing concern of shortages for personal protective equipment and other supplies amid the coronavirus pandemic, Premier has teamed up with supply chain mapping and disruption monitoring services specialist Resilinc to launch an exchange to locate and trade critical supplies.
The cloud-based platform, developed in collaboration with Stanford Medicine and called The Exchange, allows hospitals and frontline healthcare providers to submit requests for specific items and be matched with peer organizations who can provide the needed supplies.
The tool can expedite communications between thousands of networked hospitals and help place critical medical supplies where they are needed most.
“Many hospitals searching for items that are on allocation by suppliers must manually locate other hospitals who have inventory,” Bindiya Vakil, CEO and founder of Resilinc, said in a statement. “This can be time consuming, less successful and has a narrow geographic reach.”
After registering on the site – which the companies claim takes less than 10 minutes – providers can list the items they need, and offer those it can spare in exchange.
An integrated donation center is also part of the offering, allowing further dispersal of needed supplies across the provider network, and the Exchange, which is agnostic to any group purchasing organization, offers registration for free.
Premier is also working with providers, group purchasing organizations, distributors, manufacturers and the government to ensure supply chains remain intact during the pandemic, including the establishment of expedited sourcing process to add additional suppliers to product categories experiencing shortages.
A survey the company released earlier this week found active cases of COVID-19 created surge demand of 17 times the typical burn rate for N95 respirators, 8.6 times that for face shields, six times for swabs, a five-fold need for isolation gowns and 3.3 times the number of surgical masks.
The survey of nearly 1,600 hospitals across 40 states, concluded every facility should begin surge planning for these supplies “immediately,” noting backorders for surgical masks, isolation gowns, thermometers and disinfecting wipes are surging and quickly surpassing demand for N95 masks.
“This is an early warning signal of product shortages that may be on the horizon and need to be planned around,” said Premier president Michael J. Alkire in a statement.
Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
Email the writer: [email protected]
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