Last week we had the opportunity to explore the origins of PPE and the critical role it plays in keeping healthcare workers safe. This week, we thought we would talk about the costs related to PPE.
In many facilities it is estimated that the cost of PPE since the onset of COVID-19 has increased 1000%1 or more. This has put a significant strain on the healthcare industry as a whole. Budgets in place for 2020 did not account for this increase nor did they account for subsequent decreases in things like elective surgeries and other procedures that offer significant revenue streams. This is, however, the cost of doing business in today’s environment and it is also required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and several other federal and state organizations.
But still there are those who choose to find ways to cut corners. They must ask themselves, what is the cost of not providing proper PPE to our teams?
Legal expenses have increased dramatically for healthcare facilities. People who do not feel their workplace is safe or that they are properly protected are creating a whole new field of case law2 . These lawsuits can be very costly, both in time and money. If found to be at fault, healthcare facilities also risk losing licenses, accreditation and more3.
Beyond the money, you have the cost of human capital. There are countless stories out there of healthcare workers who became critically ill or lost their lives because of improper PPE when treating patients or handling hazardous drugs. We’ve shared in this blog before the story of a nurse at a facility in Texas who is unable to have children because of years of being exposed to hazardous drugs in the oncology unit.
These stories are more prevalent now with the COVID epidemic.
We don’t believe one healthcare worker’s life is worth cutting corners. And we know we are able to help.
Through our Rhazdrugs product, healthcare workers are able to quickly access what type of PPE they should be wearing based on what situation or medication they are dealing with in a given moment. In addition, many of our clients use our editor tool in Rhazdrugs to create helpful visuals like the one below. Rhazdrugs can also be a valuable tool in managing expenses by being very clear about what is needed in when without waste and without compromising worker safety.
1 @jimberklan, James M. Berklan Follow. “Analysis: PPE Costs Increase over 1,000% during COVID-19 Crisis - News.” McKnight's Long Term Care News, 9 Apr. 2020, www.mcknights.com/news/analysis-ppe-costs-increase-over-1000-during-covid-19-crisis/.
2 “Are Healthcare Facilities Liable for Failing To Provide PPE · Napoli Shkolnik.” Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, www.napolilaw.com/article/are-healthcare-facilities-liable-for-failing-to-provide-ppe/.
3 Vaidya, Anuja. “OSHA Investigates Suburban Atlanta Hospital after Nurse's Death: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration Is Investigating the Death of a Nurse Who Worked at Stockbridge, Ga.-Based Piedmont Henry Hospital and May Have Contracted COVID-19 While Caring for Patients, According to a Report by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.” Becker's Hospital Review, www.beckershospitalreview.com/nursing/osha-investigates-suburban-atlanta-hospital-after-nurse-s-death.html.