A tale of two masks

As hospi­tals in the region consider when to restart elective surgeries, the Washington State Nurses Associ­a­tion sounds caution: Facility leaders need to ensure they have enough PPE for all their workers throughout the pandemic.

WSNA’s Execu­tive Director Sally Watkins says that each health care insti­tu­tion needs to take the lead on procuring PPE. It is the individual hospi­tals that are account­able to make sure they have the adequate supplies on hand for their employees,” she wrote in an email. 

The process of procuring PPE is compli­cated; there are issues related to suppliers in China and, according to Jacque­line Barton True of the Washington State Hospi­tals Associ­a­tion, rural areas in Washington have had a harder time gaining access to equip­ment because suppliers would rather fulfill orders for mass shipments to large, urban facil­i­ties. In addition, COVID-19 took time to reach rural Washington and the delayed spread from urban to rural centers also contributed to how resources were distributed.

REAL CHANGE: A tale of two masks (5/13/20)