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Personal Protective Equipment Update

Mask Distribution will begin on Thursday, April 2 during day shift.

As part of our continued efforts to ensure we protect our care team, Kettering Health Network leadership, along with our supply chain leadership, has worked diligently to obtain personal protective equipment (PPE) from every possible source.

To ease concerns, we will make available to all direct patient caregivers or patient-facing employees one issued PPE mask per shift. Under normal conditions, we anticipate one mask per shift per employee should be sufficient.

At this time, it is preferred that direct patient caregivers and patient-facing employees do not bring masks or other PPE from home. One mask may be issued to every direct patient caregiver or patient-facing employee for each shift.

  • Direct patient caregivers are defined as employees who provide hands-on care and treatment to patients.
  • Patient-facing employees are defined as non-direct patient caregiver employees who, by the nature of their job, provide a service within six feet of a patient.

N95 masks will continue to be distributed to the following areas:

  • Designated units
  • ED/Trauma/Radiology
  • ICU (designated)
  • Maternity (for staff providing care to PUI or COVID-19 patients only)
  • Surgery
  • RT

Isolation mask must be worn all day while performing patient care duties. However, employees identified to provide patient care in one of the “designated units/areas” will obtain an N95 mask upon entering the “designated unit/area” from the leader or designee.

Employees are expected to adhere to recommended processes surrounding proper mask use. See policy IC-Isolation Precautions and prior Incident Command Communication: Employee Notice: PPE Reminders, KHN Designated Care Unit Standard Operating Procedures, Necessary Personal Protective Equipment Sign

As a reminder:

  • Masks must be properly worn, inspected, maintained, and replaced as necessary by the employee.
  • Masks must be properly removed, cleaned, and stored or disposed of, as applicable, to avoid contamination of self, others, or the environment. 
  • Employees must perform hand hygiene before and after handling their masks. 

For reminders regarding PPE from home, review Incident Command Communications: Personal PPE for All Personnel

Standards

Workplace Accountability

  • Staff will pick up their masks from their leader or designee.
  • Masks may be worn for the duration of a shift, regardless of a patient’s symptoms.
  • Employees are expected to adhere to appropriate isolation precautions and the specific precautions outlined for patients confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19.

Safe Work Practices

  • If a mask is wet, soiled, damaged, or becomes hard to breathe through, it should be thrown away.
  • Cloth masks brought from home are used at your own risk and should be used only in non-patient care areas and washed in between shifts. Laundering masks is the employee’s responsibility

Precautions for Proper Handling and Disposal

  • Hand hygiene should be performed before and after removing masks.
  • When an employee is not working face-to-face or in a direct patient care environment, masks may be removed and stored in a paper bag. Please note that masks should be folded so the outer surface is folded against itself, and employees should write their name on the bag.

Process (Click here for mask distribution details.)

  • Obtaining isolation masks for direct patient caregivers and patient-facing employees (one mask per employee)
April 1, 2020