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Strategies for Optimizing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Supplies During Shortages 

CDC Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a reference resource that outlines the CDC’s strategies to optimize personal protective equipment (PPE).  

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an increased need for personal protective equipment (PPE), resulting in PPE shortages. This has posed a tremendous challenge to the U.S. healthcare system. Healthcare facilities are having difficulty accessing the needed PPE and are having to identify alternate ways to provide patient care.

The CDC’s strategies to optimize personal protective equipment (PPE) is a quick reference that summarizes CDC’s strategies to optimize PPE supplies in healthcare settings and provides links to CDC’s guidance documents on optimizing supplies. These strategies offer a continuum of options using the framework of surge capacity when PPE supplies are stressed, running low, or absent. When using these strategies, healthcare facilities should:

  • Consider these options and implement them sequentially
  • Understand their current PPE inventory, supply chain, and utilization rate
  • Train healthcare personnel on PPE use and have them demonstrate competency with putting on and taking off any PPE ensemble that is used to perform job responsibilities 
  • Once PPE availability returns to normal, promptly resume conventional practices