Hospitals and Health Systems
Thank you for the incredible work you are doing to care for our communities during this crisis. We are hearing from manufacturers and other members of the business community that they want to offer their assistance and help in keeping frontline health care workers safe.
Protecting People Everywhere; New App Will Help Coordinate and Accelerate PPE Efforts
The AHA is pleased to announce we have partnered with Microsoft, UPS, Merit Solutions, Kaiser Permanente, Goodwill and consulting firm Kearney to launch Protecting People Everywhere, powered by HealthEquip™. HealthEquip is a smart app that will match individuals and organizations donating PPE with local hospitals and health systems based on needs-criteria. The app also will track PPE donations and manage shipping through UPS to your hospital.
Give a Mask
Give a Mask offers an opportunity for individuals and businesses to make financial contributions that translate directly into the donation of high-quality, non-medical grade, masks for hospitals, providers and community-based organizations. All financial donations correspond directly to the production and donation of masks. If you are an organization that would like to receive masks, please contact email@example.com with your organization’s contact and shipping information and the number of masks requested. Please note that you were referred by the 100 Million Masks Challenge. A minimum of 200 masks per order and masks will be shipped on a first come, first served basis. There are no associated shipping costs and Give a Mask will be shipping weekly.
For additional information about Give a Mask or to make a donation please visit www.giveamask.co.
Working with Manufacturers in Your Community
We encourage all of our hospitals and health systems to partner and coordinate with businesses in your communities that may have the equipment and ability to help produce much-needed personal protective equipment. While every relationship will be different, we urge you to think creatively and offer the following information to help guide your efforts.
There are many businesses and manufacturers who are looking to help during this crisis.
Below, we provide a sampling of design specifications that have been used by hospitals and health systems around the country. While we cannot attest to the efficacy of these design specifications, they can be used as a starting point as you develop PPE with local manufacturers.
What We’re Seeing in the Field
The American Hospital Association and our partners continue to work to make sure that every health care provider can have access to much-need personal protective equipment (PPE) especially during this health care crisis. Information, policies, procedures and best practices around PPE are evolving quickly as the overall situation evolves. Here is a quick review of what we’re seeing in the field today with links, as available, for more information.
PPE Best Practices
The CDC, NIOSH, the FDA and OSHA all provide resources regarding PPEs online. The CDC has issued new strategies to optimize the supply of PPE, and information on decontamination and reuse of filtering facepiece respirators. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) also issued guidance on extended use and limited reuse of N95 respirators. The FDA has issued a new guidance document regarding the enforcement policy for face masks and respirators during the crisis, and is continuing to monitor and update to address needs in the health care field. OSHA has expanded temporary guidance for respirator fit-testing.
PPE manufacturers, distributors and other health care industry partners provide resources related to PPE during this crisis.
- 3M PPE Considerations shares resources comparing masks and alternatives.
- stockd shares guidelines, alternative production methodologies and covid-19 testing resources on their coronavirus update page.
- ECRI offers a covid-19 resource page including information related to PPE equivalents, disinfecting N95 masks, and practical guidance on the potential risks and benefits to consider regarding N95 use and reuse.
Decontamination of N95 Masks
As the health care industry works to adapt and adjust to the shortages of PPE, many organizations are exploring different avenues for decontamination.
To help address the critical shortage of N95 masks, Duke Health researchers and clinical teams confirmed that N95 masks can be decontaminated for reuse without degrading the quality of the masks. The teams used existing decontamination methods utilizing vaporized hydrogen peroxide. Local news shared the story.
Nebraska Medicine and the University of Nebraska Medical Center use ultraviolet germicidal irradiation to surface decontaminate N95 masks. Detailed documentation and key points are available online. They also share exact specifications and processes used. National news shared the story.
Battelle’s system can decontaminate thousands of N95 masks per day using concentrated vapor phase hydrogen peroxide, without degrading N95 performance. The American Hospital Association released a product advisory with more information. Battelle provides detail documentation available for facilities and health care providers.
STERIS Healthcare Decontamination Solutions for compatible N95 or N95-equivalent Respirators
STERIS has received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA to temporarily provide an option to decontaminate compatible N95 or N95-equivalent respirators up to ten times. Instructions for healthcare facilities and healthcare personnel and other documentation are available online.
Guidance on Reuse of PPE
As the health care industry works to adapt and adjust to shortages of PPE, many organizations have adopted different strategies for reusing PPE. While it is important to recognize viable techniques for reuse, it is equally important to know what does NOT work. We share information on both below.
University of Washington made comprehensive policies and procedures available publicly online. Included are PPE guidelines for limited reuse.
The current, evidence-based answer provided is to NOT use anything in your home to attempt to sterilize or sanitize N95 masks or other PPE. Stanford Medicine's detailed report (not peer-reviewed) shares the evidence gathered regarding the general efficiency of the filtration following disinfection. This does not specifically look at effectiveness against COVID-19. The commentary includes reference to research from prior studies with different viruses.
Tips and Current Practices from the Field
Oregon Health & Science University works to be transparent with staff about supplies and needs with updates posted daily and shared at huddles with all staff. Researchers have mapped out the covid-19 trajectory and aligned it with OHSU’s PPE supply to ensure they can meet the increased needs. OHSU also has a public-facing resource site.
Atlantic Health System implemented a UV sterilization process to prolong the life of N95 respirators and shared this process map detailing the path from clinician through delivery to cleaning. Atlantic Health also offers a public-facing COVID-19 resource site.
Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC) advises on methods to reduce transmission of coronavirus in this press release. HLAC board members also advise that health care organizations work closely with Infection Prevention teams when considering PPE sanitization, sterilization, reuse, or using PPE from new sources and partnerships. They also recommend that organizations keep linens, scrubs and other textiles in the system for laundering; do not take home, and to work with laundry partners to help manage supplies and needs. Local news in New York featured an HLAC accredited facility and what they do to help reduce virus transmission.
Medical University of South Carolina
Other PPE Resources
- Medtronic PB560 Ventilator System Design Specifications
- FDA Guidance to Expand Availability of Ventilators to Address COVID-19
New York Presbyterian
Windy City Plastics
In addition to those listed above there are many additional resources available for those interested in helping to create much needed PPE.
For hospitals and health systems interested in connecting with community mask makers consider these steps.
The Dynamic Ventilator Reserve is a public-private partnership between the American Hospital Association, the White House, FEMA, and leading group purchasing organizations. This program brings together health systems from across the country to contribute a portion of their ventilator fleets to share with hospitals experiencing shortages. If you’re a hospital or health system and have available ventilators to donate or want additional information, please visit the Dynamic Ventilator Reserve webpage.
Non-Traditional Suppliers Offering PPE and Other Critical Supplies
AHA, through The Association for Health Care Resource & Materials Management (AHRMM) is vetting non-traditional suppliers that are offering PPE supplies throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This process is being done in collaboration with GHX and uses the same tools, expertise and processes leveraged by its Vendormate solution that has been a trusted source of information to credential new vendors for more than 15 years. See more information and a list of these suppliers and their products.
Please read and review the information provided on this website before reaching out due to the large volume of inquiries. If you still have questions please call 800-424-4301 or click on the link below to fill out the form and we will get back to you as soon as we are able.Thank you!
The American Hospital Association (AHA) is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of the specifications and guidance provided above (the Information). The Information was obtained from hospitals, health systems and other third parties, and was not developed by the AHA. The AHA is providing the Information for informational purposes and has not independently, tested, confirmed or verified the Information. Any use of the Information is at the user’s own risk. The AHA is not a health care provider, and it does not actively monitor or approve any Information on this site and are not responsible or liable for verifying the accuracy of the Information. The AHA provides this Information and these materials on an “as is” basis, with no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, including with respect to accuracy, completeness, quality, non-infringement, merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. AHA and its affiliates, will not be liable for any damages of any kind arising from the use of, or reliance on, any Information made available to you by AHA.