Vanderbilt revives PPE tracking project sidelined by the Trump administration
Vanderbilt has received funding to study how hospitals snatched up and burned through personal protective equipment early in the pandemic. At the time, public health officials thought some hospitals were hoarding supplies, but they didn’t know who.
The ultimate goal is to create a platform where hospitals have to share details about the PPE they have on hand and have ordered. And in a pinch, federal authorities could redistribute or reroute shipments to hospitals in need.
The largest hospital systems haven’t bought in just yet. But Vanderbilt nursing professor Kelly Aldrich says her two goals are to bring more transparency and eliminate disparities.
“What we’re talking about is an infrastructure inequity that our country has where we can’t manage supply chain and protect human beings who are trying to care for other human beings,” she says.
For starters, Aldrich and her team will analyze data collected in the early months of the pandemic. A pilot group of hospitals assembled by Nashville’s Center for Medical Interoperability agreed to share daily inventory data on respirators, surgical masks and face shields.
That project was supposed to last three years but came to an abrupt halt in mid 2020 when the Trump Administration took over the role of overseeing COVID data.
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