In response to a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment, or PPE, for medical staff on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19, a coalition of private and nonprofit organizations have banded together to launch Protecting People Everywhere, an initiative powered by the HealthEquip™ app through which PPE donors and their donations can be matched with potential recipients. The app ensures the equitable distribution of critical PPE and other medical supplies to the places they are needed most. The coalition includes the American Hospital Association, Kaiser Permanente, Kearney, Merit Solutions, Microsoft, and UPS. From technology and shipping to hospital advocacy and health care expertise, coalition members have worked together to solve an issue that is key to virus containment.
Protecting People Everywhere features the HealthEquip™ app to connect donors of PPE to hospitals and communities in need. Through the app, developed by Merit Solutions, anyone can donate PPE, medical-grade preferred, which is then added to a central database. Hospitals that sign up on the app can request the PPE and an algorithm will match resources to critical need based on the amount of staff, the number of COVID-19 patients, and other factors that ensure an unbiased distribution of PPE. Once matched, PPE will be ready for shipment via UPS. Consulting firm Kearney designed the physical supply chain, ensuring medical-grade equipment donations reach workers on the front lines.
Protecting People Everywhere builds on the 100 Million Mask Challenge, an AHA-led effort to leverage private sector partnerships to secure millions of masks for the physicians, nurses, and front-line workers who are serving coronavirus patients and at greater risk due to a nationwide shortage of PPE. In 2 weeks, the initiative has generated widespread public support from hundreds of manufacturers and individuals at 100millionmasks.org.
Since the pandemic began, organizations including AHA and Kaiser Permanente have pushed to secure needed PPE for the health care workforce. The Protecting People Everywhere initiative will help hospitals of all sizes and from every corner of the country fill immediate gaps while continuing to work with government and private sector partners.
“The HealthEquip app will help us continue to turn the inspiring response to the 100 Million Mask Challenge into action,” said Michelle Hood, executive vice president and COO of the AHA. “Through this partnership, we will help to secure needed protection for the people on the front lines.”
“Health care workers everywhere are working tirelessly to help protect our communities from COVID-19, and we are committed to providing them with the highest level of protection possible,” said Bechara Choucair, MD, senior vice president and chief health officer for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Hospitals. “We’re proud to be part of this coalition that is working to find solutions to closing the critical PPE gap for hospitals across the country.”
The goal of the initiative is to provide the logistical support needed on both the donor and recipient sides. This will make it easy for donations to make it to recipients quickly and safely.
“Donating PPE to your local hospital is a good thing. Donating PPE to a hospital that desperately needs it is even better. The goal for this program is ultimately to enable allocation of PPE to those who need it the most, and then to do it at scale,” said David Rhew, MD, vice president and chief medical officer at Microsoft. “Microsoft is honored to provide the cloud services and technical expertise to support this effort and committed to the goal of protecting those on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19.”
“Kearney is committed to helping forge the right connections during this pandemic and privileged to join this group of prominent industry leaders to ensure our health care professionals have the equipment they need,” said Alex Liu, managing partner at Kearney.
For more information on how to donate or request PPE, interested parties can go to www.health-equip.com or download the app available in the App Store or Google Play.
This article is a reposted press release and first appears on Newswire here.