When determining how much PPE your business needs, the industry you are working in can significantly affect that number. If you are working in a medical environment with patients, the number is much greater than in a retail environment. You must consider the type of setting you are working in and the different situations that can occur. So the question remains, how much PPE does your business need to order? We can break this question down by several factors categories, let’s start with environment.
When working in the medical field, you have a greater risk of being exposed to germs and other infectious diseases. You not only have your staff to worry about but the patients that you are caring for, as well. You need to keep in mind the number of patients that your facility can hold and the number of times PPE can be used by a single staff member or patient.
Another environmental issue to consider is the role of your facility. During certain trial phases of a pandemic such as Covid-19, some may be frontline hospitals. They take in the largest number of patients and require a lot more PPE than a smaller hospital located in a smaller town. You also must consider that some hospitals could be participating as treatment facilities, and the amount of PPE varies for them, as well.
Knowing Your Data
When ordering PPE, it’s no different than ordering for other businesses in other industries. Every business has performance measurements and inventory control. To keep the right amount of PPE on hand, you must know your consumer or patient numbers. Each medical facility has a maximum capacity for patients and beds.
Being the person that orders the PPE, you need to understand the amount of PPE you would need per patient at maximum capacity. You may be thinking that your facility is rarely at maximum capacity. On the contrary, maximum capacity should be the bare minimum of what you order.
Understanding the processes of how PPE is used in your facility is also a significant determining factor. You need to know how many different pairs of gloves one staff member will operate in a certain amount of time. That time could be one day, one week, or whatever length of time you need to place an order.
The demographic of your facility’s location will also determine the amount of PPE you will need to order. If your hospital is in an area with high crime rates, you’re more likely to use a larger amount of PPE than a small-town hospital.
Another critical step to take when considering the amount of PPE to order is the training of your staff. A staff that does not understand the proper usage of PPE can result in waste. If you have a consistently wasting PPE staff, you will never have real numbers to base your order on. When your staff is fully trained, they allow ordering PPE to be a much more efficient process.
There are unpredictable situations such as the Covid-19 pandemic that we are currently experiencing. During this pandemic, PPE shortages were happening all across supply chains. Hospitals were over their max capacity on beds and patients. If there is any lesson we can take from this historical event, it’s the proper way to order PPE. Before this pandemic, most hospitals ordered what was needed for their facilities and a small amount extra. The medical community was not prepared for the numbers that they were facing when Covid-19 hit.
When ordering PPE, you need to be prepared for situations like a pandemic. Before Covid-19, hospitals and supply chains were not prepared. Experiencing this pandemic has allowed medical facilities the data that they need to be better prepared for an emergency. There is now a larger number to build PPE levels too.
Fortunately for most other industries, PPE ordering is a much simpler process. The amount of PPE being used daily is minimal compared to medical facilities. In retail, PPE is used primarily by the staff and less by the consumers. When creating orders for PPE, the build-to number for ordering is much easier to keep track of. Other industries don’t always provide PPE, such as masks for their consumers and employees. The spread of infectious diseases is a much smaller risk outside of the medical field.
When ordering your PPE, know your data. Remember that you should have enough PPE on hand for every staff member and patient. Know the amounts that your staff will use throughout the time before you make your next order. As long as you have the data, understand the demographic of your area and the role of your facility, ordering PPE should be an efficient process for you. Newrain can help make the process seamless!