PPE-Masking Toolkit

Guidelines for conserving and extending use of PPE

Intermountain has an advanced Supply Chain Organization and adequate supplies to meet our current projected needs. However, we must conserve our PPE so we have enough for an uncertain future. Using more PPE than recommended doesn't necessarily make you safer and in many cases may increase the risk of self-contamination when masks are taken on and off more frequently, particularly if you're in a position where you don't normally wear a mask. Through smart use, we can ensure adequate PPE availability and caregiver safety. For conservation and extended use, follow the guidelines below.

All orders for masks and supplies need to go through the Supply Chain. Don't order directly from suppliers.

Conserve your pediatric procedural masks. All hospitals and clinics should pull the Disney® printed pediatric procedure masks away from all common areas to help preserve inventory. Stands with masks should be in the line of sight of Intermountain caregivers to allow better product usage monitoring and help discourage patients and visitors from using more than what's needed. This document gives additional details.

Donning and Doffing Instructions

Mask Definitions

A procedural mask is a loose-fitting, disposable mask that doesn't contain a respirator and the edges of the mask aren't designed to form a seal around the nose and mouth.

An N95 respirator is a respiratory protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles. The edges of the respirator are designed to form a seal around the nose and mouth.

A powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) consist of a hood or full-face mask, a powered fan which forces incoming air through a filter for delivery to the user for breathing, and a battery or other power source.

PAPR vs. N95

Using a PAPR vs. N95 is designated by each facility, clinic, and their respiratory protection plan. Before using a PAPR, training and a skills pass-off is completed per the facility plan. Inpatient and some clinics use PAPR, while Homecare and other clinics will use N95. If a PAPR is available and you're trained, you should always choose to use a PAPR instead of the N95 to preserve supply. N95s require fit testing to the specific make, model, and size. If you have questions regarding PAPR or N95 use consult your supervisor or Employee Health.

PAPR or N95 is recommended for aerosolizing procedures regardless of COVID status. This approach is recommended by several medical societies and keeps our caregivers safe when providing significant respiratory care.

Masks for Patients

  • Procedure or surgical masks should be used for patients.
  • Patients shouldn't wear N95 masks.

If a patient or visitor indicates they've been to an infected region recently and have developed a fever, cough, or is having difficulty breathing, please put ask them to put a procedure mask on. Be sure to mention this to their provider or caregiver. If a patient needs to leave their room for ANY reason, they must be masked.

Masks In the Community

Follow CDC's recommendations for using a facemask:

  • People who are well aren't recommended to wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of respiratory illness, including COVID-19, to help prevent further spread of the disease to others.
  • The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility).
  • Masks must be worn correctly to be effective, covering the nose and mouth. Once on, you should refrain from touching the mask as much as possible to prevent contamination to and from your hands. Wash your hands before and after removing the mask. Immediately throw the mask away after use and don't save for future use.
Try our new COVID-19 Symptom Checker →