The Effectiveness of Personal Protective Equipment Across Wisconsin Nursing Homes

Measuring the effectiveness of personal protective equipment in nursing homes

Full Project Name:The Effectiveness of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Across Wisconsin Nursing HomesPrincipal Investigator:Silvia Munoz-Price, MD, PhD, MedicineCo-Investigator:Liliana Pezzin, JD, PhD, Institute for Health and Equity; Edmund Duthie, MD, MedicineAward Amount:$489,059
Award Date
Project Duration:15 months

Project Description Narrative:

In Wisconsin, COVID-19 has placed tremendous stress on healthcare institutions. Nursing homes and other post-acute care facilities face special challenges, operating with scarce resources and tight margins while caring for the population at highest risk for negative outcomes if infected with the virus. Currently, personal protective equipment (PPE) is at perilous levels nationwide. Without PPE, health care workers and residents are at increased risk of exposure and infection.

This project aims to provide health care workers in Wisconsin nursing homes with custom-made face masks to determine their impact in preventing the spread of COVID‐19.

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:

  • Established partnership with Wisconsin-based organizations, HUSCO and Olympus Group, to source personal protective equipment (PPE) at a time when PPE was in short supply
  • Initiated outreach to nursing home organizations, establishing contacts and obtaining staffing numbers in order to determine amount of PPE needed, documenting more than 17,530 full-time employees in nursing homes across Wisconsin
  • Obtained and delivered more than 39,000 face shields and 32,000 safety goggles to more than 340 nursing home facilities across Wisconsin in addition to thousands of face masks
  • Began analysis of data reported to a central database

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