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.