Written by Bryan Hooppaw
February 9, 2021
Starting on April 1, 2021, hospitals will be required to maintain a 90-day PPE supply at all times. Assembly Bill 2537 will affect California’s General Acute Care Hospitals – all 422 facilities throughout the state – impacting thousands of healthcare workers, hospital directors, administrators, and supply chain professionals. This post will discuss AB-2537 compliance requirements, their implications on the healthcare system in California, and provide five tips for what to do next.
In September 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom and our State Legislature signed Assembly Bill 2537, aka AB-2537 Personal Protective Equipment: Healthcare Employees.
The Bill requires hospitals in California, approximately 422 general acute care facilities, to maintain a 90-day PPE supply starting on April 1, 2021. These facilities reported their highest consecutive 7-day average PPE supply usage during the 2019 calendar year by January 15, 2021, to the Department of Industrial Relations. The following is a list of the specific types of PPE hospitals need to have on hand, equating to three months of regular consumption.
- N95 filtering facepiece respirators
- Powered air-purifying respirators with high-efficiency particulate air filters
- Elastomeric air-purifying respirators and appropriate filters/cartridges
- Surgical masks
- Isolation gowns
- Eye protection
- Shoe coverings
Additionally, employers need to establish and implement written procedures for periodically determining the quantity and type of PPE supply used in its typical consumption. Failure to comply could result in up to a $25,000 fine for each violation.
What’s Happening Now and What This Means For You
Suppose you’re a hospital administrator, supply chain professional, CNO, or a front-line healthcare worker. In that case, this legislation directly affects you. In two months from now, hospital employees responsible for PPE procurement will need to source enough PPE supply required to maintain a three month supply, locate the physical space to house the hundreds of thousands of supplies, and implement procedures that streamline the entire process without straining resources.
Hurdles to success:
- Sourcing the required number of supplies with a fast-approaching deadline
- Implementing new systems of operation while trying to meet current needs of the organization
- Decentralized communication throughout organization
Review Assembly Bill 2537 with your procurement, healthcare, admin, and nursing staff. If you haven’t already, compile your 7-day consecutive high stats and have them readily available should the Department of Industrial Relations request them.
- Analyze current procurement process and implement system/software to streamline and automate. (See our solutions here)
- Develop procedures for periodically determining quantity and types of PPE supply for average consumption.
- Review contracts with current vendors and discuss extensions in exchange for reduced pricing.
- Locate and discuss possible locations for PPE supply. Either expand on current warehouse agreements or develop new partnerships with local organizations that can meet inventory demand. (Bonus: You can help your local economy.)
- Create regular monthly and quarterly check-ins with departments: ensure that staff receive the support and guidance needed to feel safe and prepared while implementing new systems of operation.
What You Can Do Now
While this new legislation creates significant challenges for hospitals in California, it does provide our healthcare workers on the front line the security they so badly require. No one knows how 2021 will play out, but we can all appreciate the substantial support this will provide our states’ heroes battling COVID with us.
If you work in a health system or hospital affected by this new Bill, be sure to review the new policy in detail with your staff and develop a timeline for implementation and procurement. Seabright Healthcare Solutions offers supply chain professionals, from Value Analysis to CFO’s, an opportunity to digitize and automate their supply chains to mitigate risk – financial and operational – so that hospitals can focus on what matters: improving the patient care cycle in the fight against COVID-19.
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