Every year American hospitals throw away an estimated $5 Billion worth of expired, unused, and obsolete inventory.
Z5 Inventory discovered this epidemic over the course of hundreds of inventory counts conducted on its mobile app in hospitals nationwide. CEO and Co-Founder Carl Natenstedt, seeing the volume of perfectly good product going to waste, felt the need to do something.
“Making not just healthcare but the world a better place is integral to the mission of Z5 Inventory. As a part of that mission, we’re constantly looking for opportunities to donate product to those in need,” Mr. Natenstedt said. “But the size of this project? It’s unprecedented. Truly.”
In Fall 2018, Z5 Inventory discovered a unique opportunity. In addition to conducting regular physical inventory counts at healthcare providers across the country, Z5 partnered with Steward Health Care System, sending a team to clear out excess product - items that could not be used by sister hospitals.
Medical supplies were subjected to Z5 Inventory’s proprietary analysis to categorize them as Move – product to be reallocated between sister hospitals – or Sell – product to be sold through Z5’s online medical supplies store. Product meeting neither criteria were marked Donate.
“At Steward Health Care, our primary goal is provide high-quality care in the communities we serve. Partnering with Z5 Inventory has allowed us to reach more patients in more communities around the world,” said Michael Prokopis, Steward’s Vice President of Supply Chain.
Steward’s donation allowed 18 full pallets of product to be handed over from Steward Health Care to Project C.U.R.E., a nonprofit dedicated to distributing medical supplies to those in need around the world.
“There continues to be high demand for quality medical supplies and equipment with our partners around the world,” said Dr. Douglas Jackson, President and CEO of Project C.U.R.E. “Unprecedented factors are driving this need, and we will stand together with those that are treating patients affected by poverty, refugee and humanitarian crises, and those that just don’t have the resources to maintain high health quality and services.”
These pallets will make their way to organizations worldwide, including Z5 Inventory’s charitable partner Cherish Uganda, an organization providing aid and education to children with HIV/AIDS in Uganda.
“We remain so grateful for the generosity of Steward Health Care, like-minded healthcare providers, and the dedication of the Z5 Inventory team,” said Brent Phillips, CEO of Cherish Uganda. “These supplies would never reach our kids without them.”
Providing products of the highest quality to patients who might never otherwise have access to them has proved an immensely gratifying experience for the Z5 Inventory team, their clients, and everyone else involved.
“Doctors’ and nurses’ preferences change. Hospitals’ needs change. These medical supplies that pile up, to the hospitals, they’re a line item,” Carl Natenstedt explained. “To these kids, they’re life-savers.”
Photo credit: Cherish Uganda. Used with permission.