Our Take: Can Online 'Swap Meets' Fill Hospitals' Needs For PPE?
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Hospitals turn to online swap meets
As a result, hospitals and health systems are taking unique approaches to shore up their supplies.
For instance, last month the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington realized it needed additional face shields, but had a surplus of hand sanitizer from a local crowdsourcing effort. Meanwhile, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, was in need of hand sanitizer but had extra face shields.
Both hospitals posted descriptions of their supply needs and surpluses on a new online trading platform called The Exchange at Resilinc, The Associated Press reports. The platform was created in a joint effort by Stanford Health Care, consulting firm Premier, and logistics software company Resilinc to match hospitals with surpluses of certain items with those in need.
For the two New England hospitals, the platform was a success. The service matched the two hospitals, enabling them to trade 500 items of both hand sanitizer and face shields.
Charlie Miceli, head of supply chain at University of Vermont Medical Center, said of the platform, "It gives you some breathing room so you can go track down more supply."
According to the Associated Press, more than 900 hospitals, as well as thousands of surgery centers, nursing homes, and other facilities signed up for The Exchange at Resilinc within the platform's first two weeks of launching. The platform has facilitated a dozen trades involving thousands of items, according to the Associated Press.
Resilinc CEO Bindiya Vikal said N95 masks are the top requested item, but the site also facilitates loans for medicines and medical equipment, such as ventilators and patient beds.
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