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Personal Protective Equipment

SCHA recognizes that hospitals are concerned about the supply of masks, gloves, gowns and other personal protective equipment (PPE). While most facilities have adequate supplies for a normal volume of patients, all hospitals and health systems should be considering certain strategies to preserve access to PPE:

  • Consider implementing conservation procedures. For example, keep all students, observers and non-critical vendors out of isolation areas to conserve supply.
  • Consider practices to extend the use and limited reuse of N95 respirator masks. Follow the CDC’s recommended guidance for getting the most out of your N95 respirator mask supply.
  • Take a full inventory of all PPE. Even some out-of-date supplies are permissible for use in a state of emergency.

The Family Medicine Residency Program at AnMed Health is sharing an innovative practice for conserving N95 mask supply. Their infection control department has reviewed and permitted an easy-to-make N95 cover that allows the mask to be used multiple times by discarding the cover with each use. Also please be sure to review the most recent guidance from the CDC with more strategies to optimize your PPE supply.

SCHA continues to compile potential resources of items like masks, hand sanitizer, face-shields, gowns, laboratory testing, testing supplies, etc., and with the SC Manufacturing Extension Partnership, SC Department of Commerce, SC BIO, and SCHA we have rolled out an automated resource for accessing PPE and supplies, the PPE Exchange.

PPE Exchange is an online marketplace of regional and national suppliers of PPE. Think Amazon but for PPE and supplies. Via PPE Exchange, hospitals, providers, and businesses looking for supplies are virtually connected to a marketplace of verified suppliers where they can search for items, schedule orders, compare prices and complete the transaction online. Learn more about the Exchange here. We encourage you to use your own discretion in utilizing these vendors and consult the SC State Fiscal Accountability Authority to see if the state has any information on a given company. If you receive any unsolicited contacts from a vendor that you have no experience with offering needed supplies, you can send that vendor or the vendor’s information to dps@sfaa.sc.gov.