Intrakoop, the leading Dutch healthcare procurement cooperative, has launched an online marketplace where healthcare organisations can market goods and services they are not currently using to other members.
The Intrakoop Deelplatform, which was developed in collaboration with digital marketplace designers FLOOW2, is intended to encourage a circular economy in healthcare through waste reduction, avoiding unnecessary procurement and minimising excess healthcare costs.
WHY IT MATTERS
Intrakoop is a procurement cooperative made up of 550 members that include hospitals and care organisations. They had been in conversation with online marketplace developers, FLOOW2, for some time about the possibility of a sustainability-focused ‘digital storage room’ when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the Netherlands. The pandemic intensified the need for transparency about the availability of stock and services in individual organisations as organisations increasingly relied on one another for support. However, without any clear means of offering or requesting goods, the Intrakoop Deelplatform was galvanised into existence.
Not only can member organisations advertise their surplus stock or available facilities, they can also request necessary items or services. This could include furniture, medical aids or even the availability of temporary staff. Services and items can be offered for rent, sale or for free, with all the logistics handled on the platform.
Already an established asset sharing platform, FLOOW2 had also previously worked in healthcare, creating Pharmaswap, a site for pharmacists in the Netherlands to trade excess medicines, and Health-Share, a sharing platform for Canadian healthcare.
THE LARGER PICTURE
In a speech given by Stientje van Veldhoven, Dutch minister for the Environment and Housing, in 2019, the Netherlands asserted the need for collaboration between healthcare organisations to further a circular economy: “I see an important role for the healthcare sector with a joint purchasing power of around €20 billion per year. […] It would be great if healthcare organisation would work together and thus set clear requirements for sustainability.”
“More and more healthcare institutions and suppliers have become motivated to commit themselves to making the healthcare sector more sustainable,” she continued. “Part of this is circular procurement. […] The point is that everyone goes along with it. Regardless of where you work in healthcare: see if things are going well enough for you or whether there are still opportunities, and take it or address it.”
ON THE RECORD
Product manager and business developer at Intrakoop, Daan van Gent, commented on the efficacy of the new sharing platform: “By making the surplus stock of one care organisation available to another, reuse is promoted. With this sharing platform, waste is limited, healthcare costs are saved and colleagues with shortages are helped.”