Lessons Learned from the Development and Demonstration of a PPE Inventory Monitoring System for US Hospitals

Read article published 9Nov 2021 here:


An international system should be established to support personal protective equipment (PPE) inventory monitoring, particularly within the healthcare industry. In this article, the authors discuss the development and 15-week deployment of a proof-of-concept prototype that included the use of a Healthcare Trust Data Platform to secure and transmit PPE-related data. Seventy-eight hospitals participated, including 66 large hospital systems, 11 medium-sized hospital systems, and a single hospital. Hospitals reported near-daily inventory information for N95 respirators, surgical masks, and face shields, ultimately providing 159 different PPE model numbers. Researchers cross-checked the data to ensure the PPE could be accurately identified. In cases where the model number was inaccurately reported, researchers corrected the numbers whenever possible. Of the PPE model numbers reported, 74.2% were verified—60.5% of N95 respirators, 40.0% of face shields, and 84.0% of surgical masks. The authors discuss the need to standardize how PPE is reported, possible aspects of a PPE data standard, and standards groups who may assist with this effort. Having such PPE data standards would enable better communication across hospital systems and assist in emergency preparedness efforts during pandemics or natural disasters.