DC Health Updates PPE Requirements for Healthcare Facilities October 16, 2020

Written by MSDC Staff

This week DC Health updated its guidance for health care personnel to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) in a healthcare facility (HCF). 

medical equipment

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.