Statewide Strategy on PPE

October 26, 2020 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO

We and much of the nation are alarmed to see an uptick of COVID in most states, including Maryland.

Your hospitals appear to be managing the volume without the strain felt during our spike in April/May, yet we know a significant surge would threaten that progress and stress your resources further.

With that in mind, MHA is leading efforts to shore up your supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the duration of this public health emergency. Plus, we’re collaborating on a long-term strategy to ensure the cupboards aren’t bare for the next.

MHA, the State, hospital supply chain and emergency management leads, and others launched the PPE Steering Committee in August. The committee’s purpose is to assess supplies in hospitals and adopt a system to ensure you have the resources you need—in the right quantities—during the next COVID surge, “FluVid,” or a future emergency.

Plans call for hospitals to commit to a 60-day reserve of PPE, with the State keeping 60 days of PPE cache based on peak burn rate. We’re also determining effective metrics to track PPE use and make sure your hospitals have the resources to care for patients and protect your workers.

The PPE Steering Committee has identified gloves and gowns as a weakness during a possible new surge and beyond. The State is looking to purchase more of these essential items for their cache soon. Yet, at peak burn rate, both hospitals and the State have relatively low supplies of these items.

The committee should complete its work in the next few weeks. We’ll share recommendations and next steps as we move toward a more efficient process to track and deliver PPE.

At the same time, I want to thank you for your efforts to conserve PPE and for your creativity in sourcing supplies and even making your own.

Bob Atlas
President & CEO

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