Filling the PPE Gap at Mosaic Medical

Filling the PPE Gap at Mosaic Medical

By Bridget McGinn, Mosaic Medical Communications Manager

As COVID-19 became a recognizable problem on the horizon, key leadership team members at Mosaic Medical took quick action to supplement the organization’s supply of Personal Protective Equipment. As a result, the organization has an adequate supply of surgical masks, gowns and gloves to support multiple clinic locations in Bend, Redmond, Prineville and Madras, said Ariel Monteau, RN, MSN, CNS. Monteau is a Clinical Educator at Mosaic who has stepped into the role of PPE coordinator for the organization’s COVID-19 Response Workgroup.

Ariel Monteau, RN, MSN, CNS examines a freshly laundered pile of homemade cloth masks donated to Mosaic Medical.

To help maximize efficiency and coordination of supplies, Mosaic established a centralized PPE ordering process, which allowed for one set of eyes to be monitoring supplies and orders for the organization as a whole. A system was also quickly established to complete and track daily inventory of the organization’s use of PPE.

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to protect staff and patients, in early March, Mosaic moved to a minimal staffing and scheduling plan for their 15 clinics and 2 administration sites throughout Central Oregon. Virtual primary care visits soared, increasing from an average of 27 to nearly 1,000 per week in late March. The reduction of in-clinic visits has not only kept people safe, but reduced the demand on PPE.

The biggest issue for the organization has been related to N95 masks.

“It has been interesting to see what has been happening with the market in this situation,” said Monteau. “We have heard about this on the national level, and we are experiencing it at our level too. Right now the market is selling to the highest bidder and that leaves us in a situation that is not ideal. We are hitting dead ends wherever we look.”

To compound this problem, Mosaic’s existing stock of N95 masks has proven difficult to fit properly. And with just one fit test kit to use to fit nearly 70 providers and medical assistants, Monteau faced a serious challenge.

“We decided to divert to our pediatrics and dental teams as they are more likely to be exposed with the type of work that they do,” said Monteau. “And we continue to try and fit the masks to the people they will work on.”

Dwight Carpen, FNP celebrates a successful N95 fit test at Mosaic Medical.

Monteau has been keeping up with CDC recommendations for extending the use of PPE and reusing supplies safely, balancing the need for conservation while keeping safety as a top priority. She is appreciative of the cooperation and support of Mosaic providers.

“Everyone has been really engaged in the process,” said Monteau. “Our providers have all kept pretty level heads in a situation where it would be really easy to let the fear take over.”

Mosaic recently made the decision to accept donated cloth masks from friends and family of staff members. The masks are collected, laundered and distributed to patients and staff members who are non-patient facing. The goal is to help conserve PPE as well as provide patients with masks that they can wear while out in public to help keep COVID-19 from spreading in the community.

“People really want to help,” said Monteau. “They are at home with not much to do, and they feel powerless to help the people they care about. We are so grateful for the support.”


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