Prisma Health updates PPE policy to match CDC, WHO guidelines

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GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – Prisma Health officials issued a news release Thursday afternoon saying the health system recently updated its policy on team member personal protective equipment to match guidelines set from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

According to the release, the updated PPE policy means health system employees match the PPE used with the condition of the patient to ensure the right equipment is used in the right setting.

“This is even more important when there is a global shortage of PPE, particularly N95 masks,” Eric Ossmann, chief of preparedness for Prisma Health and vice chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Prisma Health-Upstate, said. “The recent policy update was a change in practice for our Midlands locations. The Upstate locations were already operating under this policy.”

According to the release, Prisma Health is requiring surgical masks to be worn by all team members who work in patient-facing environments. That requirement also includes team members in Environmental Services, Food and Nutrition, Admissions and anyone who may come into contact with any patient.

“We have taken many steps to ensure our team members and patients are safe,” Mark O’Halla, president and CEO of Prisma Health said. “We have restricted visitors and limited entrances to our facilities. We also started temperature checks on everyone entering the hospitals, including team members.”

According to the release, Prisma Health has also enhanced their Employee Assistance Program for their team members.

“We know team members are worried about carrying the virus home to their families, which is why we have provided information on discounted hotel rooms for our frontline team members who do not want to go home between shifts,” O’Halla said. “We are grateful for our community partners who are making this available.”

According to the release, the health system will be starting a Blue Ribbon campaign, where they will put blue ribbons on trees on their campuses to show support for their healthcare team.

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