The Joint Commission recognizes the incredible challenge that health care organizations and front-line workers face with the COVID-19 crisis.
March 27, 2020 - Public Statement on the Shortages of Critical Medical Equipment.
Our goal in creating this resource page is to support health care professionals and organizations on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation is changing rapidly, and recommendations have been changing with similar speed. We also know everyone is facing a deluge of information. Therefore, we are trying to provide only the information that best meets the needs of health care workers and leaders. We will continue to update this library of internal and external resources for our customers and the public. If you have other questions, need other resources, or have leading practices you would like to share, please visit our contact us page.
Personal Protective Equipment
The Joint Commission statement on shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) amid COVID-19 pandemic.
Consistent with CDC recommendations as of March 24, 2020
- The Joint Commission: Removing (Doffing) a Disposable Gown and Gloves with Rationale
- Rush University Medical Center: Step by Step Donning and Doffing: Disposable Gown, Face Mask and Goggles
As of March 24, 2020, CDC recommends:
- Contact Plus Droplet plus Eye Protection when providing routine care to known or suspected COVID-19 patients.
- Airborne Plus Droplet plus Eye Protection when performing aerosol generating procedures on known or suspected COVID-19 patients.
These videos provide an example using disposable gowns. It is essential that the instructions to employees take into account the specific PPE the facility is using (e.g., reusable versus disposable gown, N95, PAPR, or surgical mask, goggles, glasses with side shields, or faces mask ) being used as well as the physical layout (e.g., ante-room, no ante-room, multiple patient room) and how the organization is utilizing the PPE (e.g., single use, reuse, or extended use).
Combinations of PPE should be considered. For example, if practicing extended use of N95 respirators (recommended by NIOSH) the organization should consider using face shields that will protect the respirator from splashes or splatters and prevent staff from inadvertently touching surfaces of the respirator while in use.
- What Should I Use, Mask or Respirator?
- Managing Critical Shortages of PPE
- Conservation of Face Masks and Respirators
CDC Guidance on Managing Critical Shortages
FDA Guidance on Managing Critical Shortages
- Conservation of Gloves
- Surgical Mask and Gown Conservation Strategies - Letter to Healthcare Providers
Note: In reviewing FDA guidance on strategies to conserve gloves, you need to know what type of gloves you use in your facility (e.g., latex, vinyl and nitrile). It is safe to use alcohol-based hand rub on latex and nitrile gloves. But the FDA states that alcohol is not recommended for cleaning vinyl gloves because it may degrade them.
- Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation: Use of Anesthesia Machines as ICU Ventilators
Joint Commission Webinar
Originally developed for behavioral health centers, however, content may be helpful to ambulatory and community settings.
Links to Other Resources
For Organizations Still Preparing to Care for COVID-19
- Preventing COVID-19 Spread from Community to Health Care Facilities (For Hospitals and Ambulatory Care Centers)
CDC Healthcare Facilities
CDC Other Facilities
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