News, MSDC Statements, and MSDC Testimony on Health Equity Issues
DC Health Updates PPE Requirements for Healthcare Facilities
This week DC Health updated its guidance for health care personnel to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) in a healthcare facility (HCF).
Similar to the September 15 guidance, as well as previous guidance, DC Health encourages aggressive use of PPE to ensure safety and limit disease spread. All HCPs should wear protective masks at all times within a facility and must wear eye protection in patient care areas or where 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained. This means patient waiting and reception areas must have personnel with eye protection (goggles are still not considered safe).
Importantly, healthcare employers must provide PPE usage education to staff and conduct routine audits of proper PPE usage by staff. The guidance includes a CDC link for an education resource but does not spell out audit processes.
The guidance does mention that facilities with adequate PPE must follow manufacturers' usage guidelines for the equipment, while those facilities with "reusable" PPE must ensure it is cleaned, decontaminated, and stored after use. The guidance also says respiratory protection must be worn when providing care to a patient or when care areas where social distancing is not possible. This includes break rooms or nurses' stations.
You can read the entire guidance here. MSDC also has an arrangement with ActionPPE to provide high quality PPE to physician member offices. You can order or increase your PPE supply through https://actionppe.org/msdc and MSDC members can get a 5% discount using the special membership code. Call or email MSDC to receive the code.
Sample of Health Equity Legislation MSDC is Tracking
(See the whole list of bills here)
What does it say? The bill allows for the administration of medicinal marijuana in schools as well as allows students to bring sunscreen to schools and apply it without a prescription.
MSDC position: MSDC supports the language permitting sunscreen application in schools
Current status: A win for DC physicians and public health! The legislation passed the Council in February and was signed by the Mayor. Previous temporary and emergency legislation permitted students to use sunscreen at schools this school year already.
What does it say? The bill requires DC Health to establish an electronic Medical Order for Scope of Treatment registry (eMOST).
MSDC position: MSDC supports this legislation to more easily allow patients to make their treatment orders known.
Current status: A win for the physician community and our patients! The Council passed the bill in December and the Mayor signed it into law on January 16, 2020.
What does it say? The bill would implement a 1.5 cent per ounce tax on the distribution of "sugary" beverages. The money collected from the tax would establish a Healthy People, Healthy Places Open Spaces Grant Program.
MSDC position: MSDC sent a letter to Council Chair Mendelson asking for a hearing to discuss all of the issues around a beverage tax.
Current status: The bill was introduced October 8, 2019 and referred to the Committee on Business and Economic Development and the Committee of the Whole.