Ensuring that the proper masks and gowns are used for the right procedures is imperative
As the epidemic continues to change how we gather, work and care for patients, so should our plan for mitigating our supplies. While some research shows that the availability of PPE has improved, as outbreaks spread and COVID-19 outbreaks continue, we can expect to see ongoing needs for supply chain improvement.
To improve and conserve the masks and surgical gowns that are currently within your own system, ensuring that the proper equipment is used for the right procedures is imperative. Breaking down which gowns are the best for specific protocols, (using a disposable gown instead of a surgical gown to clean a room) may improve the supply conditions. In the past it was easy to switch from one type of gown to another for tasks if supplies were low, or if staff was not aware of which masks were the best to use in different situations. Given the risks are much higher now, this is the time to develop specific educational processes instructing medical teams when to use specific types of PPE and what each type is clearly safe for.
Every team member has an impact on ensuring that the supply of PPE remains stable – with education and ongoing monitoring of supply processes, each company can improve the accessibility of PPE required. As noted in much of the information available in COVID-19 updates, manufacturing has also begun to ramp up to meet the ongoing need for PPE. As companies change over to creating ventilators, masks and hand sanitizer, the supply system should begin to level out helping to decrease concerns regarding access to much needed equipment.