3 Strategies to Optimize Facemask Supply: Conventional, Contingency & Crisis Plans

March 31, 2020

The CDC outlines 3 surge capacity strategies to help healthcare providers prioritize COVID-19-related conservation of facemasks: conventional, contingency, and crisis.

Reports of dwindling supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare providers are daily headline news. The most basic piece of PPE, the facemask, is reported in extremely short supply at all levels of the healthcare system.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surge capacity is the "ability to manage a sudden, unexpected increase patient volume that would otherwise severely challenge or exceed the present capacity of a facility." The CDC explains 3 levels of surge capacity that can be used to prioritize facemask conservation efforts along the continuum of care. Conventional, contingency, and crisis capacity strategies are explained in the slides below.