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COVID-19 Bi-Weekly Medical Supplies Survey Results

Status of Medical Supplies

Biweekly Survey Report
Survey conducted March 23-26, 2020

To obtain a real-time status of medical supplies during the current COVID-19 pandemic, ASHP is surveying members of the Section of Pharmacy Practice Leaders on a biweekly basis. The first two surveys assessed the status of supplies and availability of surgical-type masks, N-95 respirators, or other masks used in healthcare settings. The surveys are informal and nonscientific and are not designed for statistical analysis. Questions about other impacted medical supplies are added as trends develop. The following includes results from the second biweekly survey (Round 2), wich included 382 respondents and contained 19 questions that were fielded for four days. The data are compared to the first biweekly survey (Round 1) which was deployed from March 9-15, 2020 and had 403 responses.  

Key Findings

  • 42% of Round 2 respondents categorized the disruption in supplies of surgical-type medical masks as either major or moderate, indicating either going without masks or using alternatives with mixed or poor results, a 27 percentage point increase from the 15% cited in the Round 1 survey. 
  • 95% of Round 2 respondents reported that their organization has a plan to conserve medical masks; an increase from 84% of Round 1 respondents.
    • 81% cite having already implemented the plan.
  • Among Round 2 respondents whose organizations perform sterile compounding activities:
    • 58% are reusing masks for sterile compounding.
    • 6% are using an alternative type of mask for sterile compounding (e.g., non-shedding fabric).
    • Over half (56%) of Round 2 respondents report problems acquiring sterile isopropyl alcohol.
  • 28% of Round 2 respondents have requested a distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) from the Strategic National Stockpile.
    • 53% of those were successful in obtaining medical masks.
  • 79% of Round 2 respondents reported vendor-implemented allocations on medical mask purchases, up 19% from the Round 1 survey.
  • 33% of Round 2 respondents reported higher acquisition prices for medical masks compared to December 2019, a 14% increase from Round 1.

Round 2 Participants

  • There were 382 respondents representing hospitals of various sizes:
    • Small hospitals (< 200 beds): 24%
    • Medium hospitals (200-500 beds): 31%
    • Large hospitals (> 500 beds): 42%
    • Other (not a hospital setting): 3%
  • The highest number of Round 2 respondents were from California (32), Texas (17), and Ohio (20)

Round 2 Results

Current availability of medical masks (Fig. 1)

  • Major disruption - often going without masks
    • Surgical-type masks: 8%
    • N-95 respirators: 17%
  • Moderate disruption - use of an alternative product or vendor with mixed or poor results
    • Surgical-type masks: 34%
    • N-95 respirators: 34%
  • Minor disruption - use of an acceptable alternative product or vendor
    • Surgical-type masks: 40%
    • N-95 respirators: 31%
  • No disruption
    • Surgical-type masks: 17%
    • N-95 respirators: 13%
 Figure 1

Sterile Compounding Programs

  • Reusing Masks (370 respondents)
    • Yes: 58%
    • No: 40%
    • Unsure: 2%
  • Using Alternative Masks (e.g., non-shedding fabric) (370 respondents)
    • Yes: 6%
    • No: 93%
    • Unsure: 1%
  • Problems acquiring sterile isopropyl alcohol (371 respondents)
    • Yes: 56%
    • No: 37%
    • Unsure: 7%

Strategic National Stockpile (SNS)

  • Has your organization requested a supply of masks from the SNS?
    • Yes: 28%
    • No: 37%
    • Unsure: 35%
  • If yes, were you successful in receiving masks from the SNS?
    • Yes: 53%
    • No: 47%

Vendor-implemented allocation restrictions for medical masks (Fig. 2)

  • Yes: 79%
  • No: 2%
  • Unsure: 19%

Figure 2

Acquisition cost of medical masks compared to December 2019 (Fig. 3)

  • Higher: 33%
  • Lower: 3%
  • Unchanged: 19%
  • Unsure: 45%

Figure 3

Organization has developed a plan for conserving medical masks (Fig. 4)

  • Yes and have implemented plan: 81%
  • Yes, but have not yet implemented plan: 14%
  • No: 2%
  • Unsure: 4%

Figure 4

Previous Rounds' Reports

 

About ASHP

ASHP represents pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in acute and ambulatory settings. The organization's nearly 55,000 members include pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. For more than 75 years, ASHP has been at the forefront of efforts to improve medication use and enhance patient safety. Visit ASHP's COVID-19 Resource Center for helpful information about COVID-19.

For more information about the survey findings, please contact ASHP’s Center for Medication Safety and Quality at quality@ashp.org

©Copyright 2020, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists®, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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