The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the supply chains of even the most well-prepared hospitals and healthcare systems. Among the most acute shortages, especially in the early months of the pandemic, were related to personal protective equipment (PPE). Some facilities even tried to remedy the situation by making their own masks from office supplies.
For the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) the situation has led the organization to stock up on protective gear and even seek warehouse space to store a decade’s worth of supplies, according to The Gazette.
Iowa’s Board of Regents soon will consider a UIHC request to lease warehouse space for the next 10 years for, among other things, COVID-19 pandemic-related storage. The deal could cost UIHC $1.35 million — $130,000 annually for the first five years and $139,750 annually for the last five.
UIHC officials in the pandemic’s early months were expressly worried about PPE supplies, including masks, gloves and gowns. With COVID-19 cases soaring nationally and locally, UIHC imposed emergency preservation protocols that allow health care providers to use the same mask repeatedly and let employees not on the front lines to wear homemade cloth masks.
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