HOSPITALS TURN TO ONLINE MATCHMAKERS TO SWAP SUPPLIES

Techlife News|Techlife News #446

HOSPITALS TURN TO ONLINE MATCHMAKERS TO SWAP SUPPLIES
Facing shortages of protective equipment, two New England hospital systems tried the latest twist in internet matchmaking: online swap meets.

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, online platforms have popped up to match hospitals that need masks, gowns, ventilators and even doctors with those that have extras. And other projects have been started to link hospitals with nontraditional sources of equipment.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm for this,” said Michelle Hood, chief operating officer of the American Hospital Association. “It’s sure made a difference to those who got supplies when they really needed them.”

The collaborations fill gaps until supplies from regular distributors arrive. They also help the finances of hospitals that have seen revenue plummet as lucrative scheduled surgeries and outpatient services nosedive.

The hospital association is involved in some projects, including the 100 Million Mask Challenge, which lines up alternative manufacturers to churn out masks for medical workers.

Last month, the University of Vermont Health system’s Burlington hospital was short on face shields. But it had surplus hand sanitizer, which it got from local distilleries that partnered to make 16-ounce “Vermont Strong” bottles, said supply chain director Charlie Miceli.

Meanwhile, his counterpart at a Lebanon, New Hampshire, hospital was hunting for hand sanitizer.

They turned to The Exchange at Resilinc, a new online trading platform from Stanford Health Care, hospital consulting group Premier Inc. and logistics software company Resilinc.

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Techlife News #446