by Gus Iversen
, Editor in Chief | April 01, 2020
Medical equipment shortages — from ventilators and beds, to SPO2 finger sensors and patient monitors — have become a hallmark of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as it blindsides healthcare providers in "hot zones" across the U.S. and globally.
Although the outbreak is expected to peak in the U.S. in two weeks, many states will see their individual peaks well after that, according to a model
by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. That means states like Virginia and Maryland may have more time to prepare for the storm, while others will pass through earlier.
In an effort to help hospitals coordinate with each other and offer support across the country, DOTmed is introducing a unique forum where providers lacking necessary resources can share their want lists with other participating hospitals. Meanwhile, hospitals in regions not experiencing shortages can make their existing assets available to the providers who need them.
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The initiative, called the Hospital Redeployment Portal
, will also leverage DOTmed's largest-in-the-world online community of medical equipment dealers, ensuring hospitals have access to competitive prices for high-demand items on a secure trading platform.
"For over 20 years, DOTmed has assisted hospital in-house biomedical and clinical engineers in locating and transporting millions of assets," Philip F. Jacobus, CEO of DOTmed, said in a statement
. "Our large network and outstanding reputation as a trusted third-party platform for the exchange of medical equipment makes us uniquely well-suited to support hospitals as they seek out lifesaving equipment in these unprecedented times."
The listings can be created anonymously or publicly, with replies going directly to the healthcare providers who created them.
Last week, the American Hospital Association, along with the American Medical Association and American Nurses Association, called on the U.S. government to provide $100 billion to equip frontline healthcare personnel
with necessary resources and to offset financial woes. They additionally emphasized the need for enough tests and for results to be returned quickly in order to have a more accurate view of the infection rate.
“We’ve already seen facilities facing shortages of needed equipment and high expenses in providing critical care, and this hurts our country’s ability to respond,” said AHA president and CEO Rick Pollack at a press briefing. “The reality is that we are in a war in which hospitals and health systems are on the front lines, and our health care workers are putting their lives on the line to fight this battle … No one ever sends their troops into battle without the right protection and ammunition and tools.”