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ADVOCACY SPOTLIGHT


Centers for Disease Control and Pre- vention (CDC) and recommendations from other leading authorities, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We have


implemented updated policies, pro- cedures and protocols based on the expertise from these organizations as well as from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorizations (EUA), the Cen-


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ters for Medicare & Medicaid Ser- vices (CMS), the US surgeon general, amongst other professional societies. We have received continued support from ASCA as we face the changing landscape and impact from this virus.” Once the pandemic hit, Black- well and her team focused on educat- ing themselves on understanding the impact of the pandemic in their facili- ties, communities and across the nation. “As we learned how virulent and highly transmissible the virus was, we realized we needed to implement updated poli- cies and procedures, including spe- cific protocols in order to protect our patients, our employees and our medi- cal staff,” she says. “We have contin- ued to seek guidance from our local, state and federal health authorities as we have had to implement changes in our day-to-day operations.” Blackwell


implemented addi-


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tional protocols on utilization of per- sonal protective equipment (PPE) and supply utilization. The ASCs learned to have a specific back up plan with PPE procurement, includ- ing having a supply contingency plan and a crisis management plan, which involves the reuse and reprocessing of certain PPE. “We looked at what we were using in our setting,” she says. “We already were using PPE, however, we have implemented new protocols on how we use our PPE and how we can sustain sufficient PPE inventory. We also have been guiding patients to wear masks during their visit in the ASC and limiting family and visitors in the facility. We have been working through these changes and challenges and believe we are at a good place with these newer pro- cesses regarding the use of PPE. “We all have had to look ahead and plan for our future needs to protect our patients, our healthcare workers and our environments as we anticipate that this virus may likely be around for a while, ” she says. “We must con- tinue to be ever vigilant to the chang-


22 ASC FOCUS FEBRUARY 2021 | ascfocus.org


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