As supplies needed at hospitals shift, online platforms are popping up, so they can swap with other facilities.
One of them is a collaboration between Stanford Health Care, Premier and the logistics software company Resilinc.
All providers need to do is log in to the system, share what they need and see if it's being offered by another healthcare system. Then, they can in return give them supplies they may have a surplus of.
The Exchange at Resilinc is designed to help fill in the gaps, while waiting for regular distributions to arrive.
“We realized very early on that the demand curve was going to far out-pace the supply curve,” said Chaun Powell, Group VP of Strategic Engagements at Premier Inc. “And with that, we had to lever existing resources that were already in the channel.”
Premier says nearly 1,000 hospitals have joined since it launched in April. Today, over 1.8 million products are available.
Premier says the demand has changed dramatically. At first, requests were for PPE, N95 masks and ventilators. Now, the focus is on isolation gowns and supplies for resuming elective procedures.
“We’re also beginning now getting to see needs for basic surgical caps and surgical gowns, things that will help our nation get back on its feet,” said Powell.
Premier says there will always be some shortages when it comes to healthcare supplies, but the current demand is unprecedented. This could serve as a backbone for future online exchanges.