The Joint Commission says that it is aware of the shortages of personal protection equipment (PPE), ventilators, and swab kits at hospitals and elsewhere and that it is taking every step possible to assist its accredited healthcare organizations during the pandemic.
“We recognize the utmost importance of PPE to protect healthcare professionals and patients from being infected and infecting others,” said Mark R. Chassin, MD, MPH, president and CEO of the Joint Commission. “Many of our employees are also frontline healthcare workers.”
With the goal of improved public healthcare, the Joint Commission says it collaborates with other stakeholders to evaluate healthcare organizations and ensure they are providing safe, effective, high-quality, and best-value healthcare.
“The Joint Commission strongly supports emergency efforts at the federal level to drastically increase the production and distribution of PPE and other necessary medical equipment and supplies,” said Chassin.
Further, Chassin said, the Joint Commission supports the availability of telehealth services during this time to use less PPE while preventing the spread of infection.
Plus, the organization is participating in daily briefings with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and calls with the Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordinating Council. It has worked with the Office of Inspector General to provide survey questions for collecting timely data on hospital challenges as well, it says.
“The Joint Commission remains available to help our accredited organizations to develop an appropriate response to COVID-19,” said Chassin.
Meanwhile, the ADA says that it has signed on to the Joint Commission’s statement on PPE shortages, noting that this gear is needed immediately to protect the caregivers who are risking their own health to care for patients in the most need.
The ADA further says that it strongly supports emergency efforts at the federal level to dramatically increase the production and distribution of PPE and other necessary medical equipment and supplies. It supports the availability of telehealth services to reduce the need for PPE while preventing the spread of infection as well.
And, the ADA says, healthcare personnel all must work immediately to remove any impediments in the supply chain and come together at the federal, state, and local levels to develop an approach for fair, equitable, and swift nationwide distribution based upon evidence of the most need.