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Tool Helps Guide Conservation of Personal Protective Equipment

April 05, 2021

A new tool developed by Children’s National Hospital helps health care centers estimate how much Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be consumed based on site-specific information and conservation strategies during the Covid-19 pandemic. The PPE Conservation Strategies Tool can help illustrate the large differences in expected consumption of PPE when choosing between four potential strategies to conserve supplies. 

For each of three types of PPE (gowns, N95 respirators and facemasks) users may select between four levels of conservation:

  • Liberal use (no reuse of disposable PPE)
  • Moderate conservation (each health care worker reuses each article across every interaction with the same patient)
  • High conservation (each health care worker is assigned a limited quantity of PPE articles per shift)
  • Maximum conservation (article is limited to a subset of health care workers; they reuse a single article across multiple shifts)

PPECS-Tool can assist in the selection of an appropriate conservation strategy to preserve PPE, given an acute supply shortage. This tool can also be used for planning PPE conservation strategies outside the context of COVID-19, where PPE shortages may also occur due to supply chain issues.