As COVID-19 Pushes Hospital Patients to Post-Acute Care Settings, Supply and Resource Needs Grow, Per Premier Inc. Survey
Senior nursing and assisted living facilities have limited personal protective equipment (PPE) to care for a greater volume of patients, according to a Premier Inc. survey – indicating a second critical wave of supply shortages, as hospitals move to reserve beds for severe COVID-19 cases and post-acute settings see an influx of patients. While senior nursing and assisted living facilities can serve as excellent sites for less critical cases, such moves cannot overlook supply and resourcing demands, Premier’s survey suggests.
Premier’s survey of nearly 2,500 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities found that 24 percent of facilities do not have N95 masks on hand, and the majority of respondents have fewer than two weeks’ supply of surgical masks, isolation gowns and face shields. Other key products for which they have supply concerns include thermometers, exam gloves, alcohol pads, soap/detergent and hand sanitizer. Ninety-six percent are implementing PPE conservation strategies.
“In this next phase of the outbreak, states and healthcare providers are contemplating how they can best provide care for patients who need medical attention but are not critical care status,” says John P. Sganga, Senior Vice President of Alternate Site Programs at Premier. “Senior nursing and assisted living facilities can provide quality care for these patients, but this shift will increase their resource and supply needs, from PPE and tests to staffing. We already know that active cases of COVID-19 create surge demand of up to 17x for hospitals’ supplies, and our survey shows that nearly half of these post-acute facilities are already dealing with staffing challenges and that PPE remains elusive. Premier’s e-Commerce marketplace, stockd, has created a repository of conservation guidance and alternative production methodologies for key PPE, and we continue to collaborate on other solutions to help providers through this unprecedented period.”