Monthly Archives

April 2020

Why Mask Donations Are More Important Than Ever

By | Heartbeat, Partnership | No Comments
donate spare PPE masks to front line workers in need

Mask Match connects donors directly with healthcare workers in need of masks. Photo cred: Mask Match volunteer

 


This article is written by Liz Klinger, co-founder of Mask Match, one of Outcome Health’s newest health advocacy partners.

When I started hearing about PPE shortages in the news, I called my mom. She’s a lifelong nurse in the Bay Area, where some of the first infections were identified. 

Governor Gavin Newsom expanded shelter in place across California and urged people over the age of 65 and with underlying health conditions to stay at home. My mom was still working, and she and her co-workers did not have masks. Her floor had actually locked up the masks and shamed staff when they asked for them. My mom wasn’t even given a mask when she went in to work with a patient who had an unidentified respiratory issue — and in the early days when there were no tests, it felt like my mom was forced to play a game of Russian roulette.

I learned that her hospital was not the only one experiencing this. Nearly every single hospital in the Bay Area was facing mask shortages and providing inadequate PPE, including some of the most reputable hospitals in the area. This wasn’t out of malice — demand suddenly went up for a hard-to-make supply, and people were scared, trying to pace out masks for the anticipated increase of hospital cases. But in saving that protection for later, that means leaving workers vulnerable without protection now, putting workers at risk of becoming part of the influx of patients later.

I didn’t want my mom to be one of them. I didn’t want to lose my mom.

Donating spare masks to healthcare workers in need

That’s why I started Mask Match (www.mask-match.com) with my friend Chloe. Mask Match is a platform to enable people with spare masks to send them directly to the hands of healthcare workers around the country. We set it up so donors don’t have to leave the house — they can use USPS Click-and-Ship to have the postal worker pick up the package from their doorstep, which makes it safer and easier for both the donors and hospital workers.

Mask Match began from my panic and a Zoom call with a friend over several glasses of wine.

Chloe and I are both entrepreneurs — Chloe is CEO and Co-founder of Medinas Health (www.medinas.com) and I am CEO and Co-founder of Lioness Health (www.lioness.io). We are both familiar with manufacturing and supply chain and realized that even if we tried to increase supply from overseas or even spin up manufacturing in the country, it would take weeks, if not months, for some of these to start, much less meet the massive influx of demand for PPE. We realized that the best, easiest, most accessible way to get masks to healthcare workers in this time are the masks in our homes and workshops.

The masks are already here in the country — no importing involved. Many masks come in boxes and include product information that is reliable — many masks being made right now, especially overseas, may not be the quality they claim to be, or some sellers might be outright scamming desperate buyers (we’re seeing both of these things in the news now). Getting these masks does not compete with the global supply chain for masks and minimizes disruption. They go directly to the hands of workers who will put them to use. Many of these workers like my own mom were given no alternative and were otherwise defenseless.

We built the website and launched it in a few hours. Donations and requests exploded over the weekend. I still remember the first request. The worker and their staff were stapling and re-stapling their masks when the elastic came off, trying to keep each mask as long as possible. They needed PPE. We connected them to a donor in their state who shipped the masks.

Partnership at the point of care

This happened again, and again, and again. A month later, we’re working with 314 volunteers who have helped shipped over 300,000 masks (and counting) across all 50 states. Outcome Health reached out to create a PSA for Mask Match which is now playing across their point-of-care platform in over 36,000 physician practices across the United States. Volunteers and donors alike feel a personal connection to the workers we’re helping and feel a bit less alone in a time when we’re all separated. Healthcare workers feel cared for and they’re getting some help and a bit of relief during a very difficult time.

Donate spare PPE masks to front line workers in need

Outcome Health created this PSA for Mask Match to bring our message to point-of-care audiences across the country.

We found that the people who benefited most were the ones at the mid-sized and smaller hospitals, urgent care centers, EMS, and assisted living homes, and also places that were outside the cities — places that didn’t have the same marketing resources to hold donation drives or financial power to negotiate in the global marketplace.

Help when it’s needed the most

Over time we’ve shifted to helping the most vulnerable. We were recently able to send thousands of mask donations to a hospital in Mississippi, where they experienced the third largest tornado in US history. Hundreds of people lost their homes including 57 medical workers. We shipped masks to them within days of the natural disaster after an employee reached out. We pride ourselves on being able to help quickly in a time when speed is the answer. After all, COVID-19 isn’t waiting for us to get ready.

This mask matching system is not meant to be permanent or to fulfill the entire mask need. It’s a temporary fix to a temporary problem — a bandaid, if you will. In a time when the alternative is sometimes nothing, nothing shouldn’t suffice. We entered a new normal overnight and needed to adapt. I needed to protect my mom.

It’s been one month since that night on Zoom, and while we’re starting to adapt, we’re not out of the woods yet with medical supplies. There are still many places where hospital workers are inadequately protected and vulnerable to getting the virus.

If you come across some masks during your quarantine spring cleaning, fill out the form and let us know. We’ll help you find someone who needs them now. The sooner you send those masks, the sooner people’s lives will be saved — maybe even your own life!

If you’d like to donate or request masks, visit www.mask-match.com to get started.
If you don’t have masks but still want to help, you can donate, volunteer, or help spread the word on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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About Liz Klinger

Liz Klinger is the Co-founder and CEO of Lioness (www.lioness.io). During the COVID-19 outbreak, Klinger also co-founded Mask Match (www.mask-match.com), a volunteer-run project that has matched over 300,000 domestic masks from individuals to front line healthcare workers who desperately need them. Mask-Match was ABC New’s Person of the Week and has also been featured in The New York Times, Fox News, and SFGate.

Klinger has been featured in The New York Times’s Women of the World and has presented at TEDx, SXSW, The Commonwealth Club, and top universities around the world including Stanford, UC Berkeley, MIT, and Chalmers about entrepreneurship.

 

Want to support patients during the most important moments of their health journey? Bring Outcome Health to your practice. 

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HCP selfie badge

Show Patients Your Smile

By | Heartbeat | No Comments

When patients visit their doctor, they expect to see a friendly and familiar face. During this coronavirus crisis, it is now harder for doctors and healthcare professionals to provide something as simple as a smile to their patients. In order to stay safe from infection, HCPs must wear gowns and masks which obscure most of their face. They are virtually unrecognizable and it has become harder for them to make a personal connection with their patients during an already challenging time.

Respiratory therapist Robertino Rodriguez wanted patients to see his face while he treated them in the ER, so he came up with a solution: he took a picture of himself, laminated it, and taped it to the front of his protective gown. Now, everyone can see his smiling face even though it is covered by a mask and face shield. He can make a personal connection with his patients because they are now able to recognize him and see who is treating them.

HCP selfie badge

This solution is an easy way for doctors and healthcare professionals to show their smiling faces to patients even while covered by PPE. We have made it easy for you to do the same – download the template below to create your own selfie badge. Just fill in your name, upload a picture, then print and laminate it. Tape it to your protective gown and show your smile to everyone you meet. As Robertino learned, this small gesture can make a big difference to someone who is in need.

Download template here.

If you do create a selfie badge for yourself, be sure to post a photo to your social media channels using the hashtag #shareyoursmile and join the movement. 

Outcome Health continues to update our platform with accurate and up-to-date coronavirus information, including mental health resources.

Want to support patients during the most important moments of their health journey? Bring Outcome Health to your practice. 

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coronavirus and domestic violence

The Impact & Effects of Coronavirus on American Lives

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Effects of Coronavirus

The Coronavirus pandemic is causing sweeping effects on the way we live. Most businesses are closed, people are instructed to stay home and can’t visit friends or go to work. Most people’s lives have been put on hold yet the current health crisis is impacting life beyond the obvious. Outcome Health recognizes the tangential impact COVID-19 is having on American lives and we’ve developed content that address and raise awareness for these issues. 

Blood Shortage & How to Donate

According to the Red Cross, now that offices and schools are closed more than 2,700 blood drives have been cancelled which has resulted in 86,000 fewer donations. Healthy individuals are encouraged to donate blood in order to help with the massive shortage hospitals currently face.

blood shortage and coronavirus

Outcome Health’s content raises awareness around the national shortage of blood donations.

Each blood donation center is operating with extra safety precautions to help prevent the spread of any type of infection. Find a donation center and schedule an appointment to donate blood with the Red Cross or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Domestic Violence Resources

Many states have shelter-in-place orders, but there are many people that do not have a safe living situation to take shelter in. If you or someone you know does not have a safe place to quarantine and needs support, there are domestic violence resources available.

domestic violence and coronavirus

Outcome Health’s platform directs audiences to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Speak with someone at the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-7233 or texting LOVEIS to 22522.

 

Mental Health & Coronavirus

This period of self-isolation and quarantine can also take its toll on mental health. People are now separated from friends and loved ones and it is unclear how long this crisis will last. The government has recently lifted restrictions on telemedicine allowing medical professionals to use video chat and telehealth services for mental health therapy sessions. These services are covered by Medicare and most state Medicaid plans. Many private insurers also have options for teletherapy.

coping with stress during coronavirus

Outcome Health’s Wallboards now provide point of care audiences with resources to cope with stress.

 

Outcome Health continues to update our platform with accurate and up-to-date coronavirus resources for all.

Want to support patients during the most important moments of their health journey? Bring Outcome Health to your practice. 

View All Of Our Blog Posts >