Joint Commission issues statement on use of face masks brought from home

April 2, 2020

In a statement issued March 31, The Joint Commission announced that it supports allowing healthcare staff to bring their own standard face masks or respirators to wear at work when their healthcare organizations cannot routinely provide access to protective equipment that is commensurate with the risk to which they are exposed.

In taking this position, The Joint Commission recognizes:

•     Hospitals must conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) when these items are in short supply to protect staff who perform high-risk procedures.

•      The degree to which privately-owned masks and respirators will increase the protection of health care workers is uncertain, but the balance of evidence suggests that it is positive.

•      No Joint Commission standards or other requirements prohibit staff from using PPE brought from home.

•      Homemade masks are an extreme measure and should be used only when standard PPE of proven protective value is unavailable.

Joint Commission has the statement.

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