BOSTON, May 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- GetUsPPE, a leading volunteer organization connecting healthcare providers with supplies of PPE (personal protective equipment), today announced an extensive new data analysis of PPE shortages, published in the May 14, 2020 issue of the authoritative medical journal The Lancet. This analysis shows that shortages of PPE continue to be a significant problem for hospitals and healthcare facilities in all areas of the United States. The study reports on data collected by GetUsPPE and was authored by academics and volunteers from Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Alpert Medical School at Brown University, Google, LLC, and Pymetrics, Inc.
This is the largest study of PPE shortages since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and uses primary-source data from the GetUsPPE Demand Data Hub, a central online repository for PPE requests from hospitals and other healthcare facilities. The GetUsPPE data show specific, self-reported PPE shortages from 6,169 of these facilities, registered in the Demand Data Hub since March 20, 2020. It is the most detailed, quantitative, real-time snapshot of PPE needs across the United States.
Facilities with inadequate PPE supplies reported the details of their needs through an online intake form. This data was correlated with public data sets to determine characteristics of the registered healthcare organizations such as region, rural-urban status and county-level data. In addition to collecting data from facilities that need PPE, GetUsPPE also collects information from groups and individuals who can donate PPE. It matches donated supply with requests through algorithms and manual matching. To date GetUsPPE has provided over 1.5 million pieces of PPE.
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"The truth about the availability of PPE during the COVID-19 crisis has unnecessarily become a topic of controversy," said Megan Ranney, MD, MPH, Department of Emergency Medicine, Alpert Medical School at Brown University. "But there is no controversy. The article published today in The Lancet is based on the real needs reported directly from more than 6,000 healthcare facilities, and it shows that significant shortages continue."
Highlights of the Study
The study shows that 6,169 hospitals, healthcare and other facilities have made PPE requests through GetUsPPE. The top three facility types requesting PPE include hospitals (27%), outpatient clinics (15%), and skilled nursing facilities (9%). Among regions, the top four regions have been the South (32%), the West (26%), the Northeast (23%), and the Midwest (16%). Of all the organizations represented most requested N95 respirators (74%), surgical masks (64%), gowns (61%), and face shields (60%). Metropolitan areas comprise 5,416 (88%) of the requests. The data show significant disparities between PPE availability and income levels, with requests equaling 3,990 (65%) coming from counties with the highest quartile of median income. This may be because requesters in those areas are more aware of the GetUsPPE Demand Data Hub.