Emergency Resource Exchange (ERx) — A New Response to COVID-19 Material Shortages

by | Mar 30, 2020

Rheaply is rebuilding its technology, in coordination with Northwestern University, to (1) enable medical professionals responding to the COVID-19 pandemic to request resources and (2) provide a place for organizations to post their supplies, materials and other equipment repurposed for COVID-19. Presenting Rheaply’s Emergency Resource Exchange (ERx)

Rheaply’s ERx platform allows organizations to post PPE, resources, and other materials from suppliers, idle research labs, vets, dentists, and makes them available to medical professionals

Our thoughts and best wishes are with you as the extent of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our state and around the nation becomes more evident, and more significant. Its spread not only continues to stress our medical facilities and supply chains, but also makes painfully obvious the need for a better way to find and disseminate valuable resources.

Rheaply ERx

At Rheaply, we care deeply about our communities and we recognize that coordinated action in a moment like this can immediately change the outlook of our neighbors across the world. In an effort to do our part and help ease the strain on larger hospital systems, we have been collaborating with J.B. Pritzker’s Office (Governor of the State of IL), Cook County, and Northwestern University to understand in detail the challenges Illinois is facing.

Resource connectivity is at the foundation of what we do — but it’s even more critical during a public health crisis.

Our healthcare system will not survive when doctors and nurses are expected to store virus-containing N95 masks in plastic containers for weekly reuse or when trash bags are used as protective gowns. The rate at which hospitals are rapidly exhausting existing PPE and medical equipment is increasing, and there is no well-organized way for them to understand what is available from nearby towns or other hospitals.

The State of Illinois also does not have real-time visibility to the areas of greatest need, so it is difficult to support the efficient flow of equipment and supplies.

To help bridge this gap between medical centers experiencing shortages and organizations able to provide immediate relief, Rheaply has been working around the clock designing a new free-to-use Emergency Resource Exchange (ERx).

ERx is an environment for hospitals, universities, manufacturers, and businesses to all meet so that supply and demand can be made transparent network wide.

Medical facilities needing supplies can browse inventory, create requests, and receive notifications as respirators, face shields, ventilators, test kits, PCR machines, or other equipment becomes available.

Organizations providing supplies can review requests or create listings for donations and sale. Transportation and delivery details can also be arranged with the platform’s built-in messaging system.

How you can support this project

The function of ERx is to serve as an open space through which Illinois institutions can support and care for the community during these uncertain times. We take our responsibility with the utmost seriousness and we ask for the following from you:

  • Any non-essential work be paused and gloves, masks, or gowns be donated to hospitals in need
  • Please share the link below in your social channels and with friends and family.
  • Rheaply ERx Registration Page

We can immediately help record medical needs or catalog supplies, and connect them to individuals at other organizations.

Our path forward

We face tough challenges ahead, but moving with a united sense of urgency minimizes risk of the virus’s transmission and brings us closer to being with our friends and families once again.

In this emergency, it is promising knowing Rheaply’s partners are also leading the charge. We are extremely proud of the endeavors carried out by the University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Chicago, RUSH University, Northwestern University, and many other universities on the front line that are treating patients and directing vaccine research. Your impact is felt on a global scale and we are grateful.

We are also enormously inspired by the heroic efforts of our community members. University students are assembling task forces and circulating volunteer forms across social media. Companies, such as Bauer, are adapting their manufacturing lines to produce medical shields instead of hockey gear. And hospitals are receiving donations from tattoo shops donating unused gloves or from fashion designers sewing together masks using scrap fabric. We all are playing our part.

Discover Better. Together.

Rheaply’s vision is to make the world’s resources visible, easily transferable, and more valuable in our global marketplace.