2020 was an overwhelming year for all healthcare workers, although the prospects of a widespread vaccination are welcome news for the healthcare community. The global pandemic resulting from the spread of COVID-19 put a strain on the entire healthcare industry and called into light the importance of infection prevention.
Much has been learned by dealing with a global pandemic of such magnitude and severity. While we can’t change what’s already happened, there are some takeaways that we can learn from our response to COVID-19. By learning from our country’s response to the global pandemic, we can hopefully improve facets of the healthcare industry in the future.
Here are just a few things we learned this year.
The importance of sanitation and handwashing
Personal sanitation—particularly handwashing—social distancing and wearing masks have all helped reduce the spread of infection. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and the community from transmitting diseases.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it was important to wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol before and after the following:
- Touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Touching your mask
- Entering or leaving a public place
- Touching an item frequently touched by other people
American ingenuity can prevail
During the onset of the pandemic, as businesses closed nationwide and individuals sheltered in place, many manufacturers pivoted their business model to increase the production of medical ventilators. Although this time did not come without its shortages, this proved that, by and large, U.S. manufacturers can be versatile and manufacture specialty equipment such as ventilators, when necessary.
In addition to this pivot from manufacturing companies, many other American businesses switched gears to focus on immediate needs as well. For example, Ford and GE Healthcare began a collaboration to produce ventilators in April 2020. Ford shifted resources to focus on disposable protective face shields. And General Motors dedicated resources to delivering personal protective equipment, including masks, face shields, gowns and more.
Science can prevail in record time
The COVID-19 vaccines were developed in the fastest time in history. In less than one year, drug companies were able to research, refine, test and bring a vaccine to market. Efforts to develop vaccines for HIV, MERS, SARS and Ebola largely contributed to the rapid clip at which the COVID-19 vaccination was developed. The COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca leverages “plug-and-play” strategies developed in recent years, which makes it unlike other common vaccines.
Hand hygiene practices are a critical component of reducing infection incidents.
The COVID-19 global pandemic is a time that will not be forgotten, but it’s strengthened a trailblazing spirit from sectors that have put people before profit. As these examples illustrate, healthcare and commerce can converge to address and slow down the spread of a rapid virus.
It’s also put the continuing importance of personal sanitation on full display. The combination of thorough hand washing and using single-use gloves is essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Ventyv® provides the best in PPE, including single-use exam gloves to meet a variety of uses. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Ventyv® has been committed to helping healthcare workers and the public Outsmart Infection®. Our PPE caters to a wide range of prevention demands, no matter your customer’s needs.
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