The smallest adjustments to personal protective equipment and apparel can make a big impact on your hospital staff and patients. For example, adjusting the thickness and stretch of the elastic on a bouffant cap helps the cap stay on properly and improves comfort. Offering gowns with elastic cuffs and an optional-use thumb loop tucked away inside the sleeve gives staff members options depending on their preferred cuff style, as they are gowning and then donning gloves over the cuff many times per shift. Supply chain and value analysis leaders recognize the importance of satisfying staff preferences with these items.

Personal protective equipment and apparel only protect your staff and patients if it is used properly. Effective execution of isolation orders and infection control measures depend on your staff donning and removing PPE the right way and using it every time it’s clinically required.

Too often, we see supply chain data that shows variation and SKU proliferation in categories like shoe covers, coveralls, isolation gowns, bouffant caps, gloves, and disposable scrubs. We want our health system partners to know that direct sourcing can help you satisfy all staff preferences and standardize to a lower-cost, higher-quality product.

Customizing PPE through Direct Sourcing

A direct sourcing approach offers unique strategies to support your cost and quality improvement goals. Instead of starting with a pre-selected product offering, a direct sourcing effort starts by surveying end-users about their preferences and requirements. Then, we identify products that meet those requirements – or we have products designed and manufactured just for you. Our ability to adapt products to meet multiple end-users’ needs makes it easier to standardize PPE, even across large health systems.

PPE product specifications fall into two categories – product quality and performance requirements, like permeability, and end-user preferences about fit and style. Our process captures both sets of specifications. We can fulfill your product quality and performance requirements by offering a full range of materials and connecting you to trusted manufacturers. We also help to perform the “translation” necessary to understand your staff’s deeply personal preferences about fit and style. In our end-user surveys, we often see qualitative comments like “the elastic was not right” or we see a split in preferences – for example, half the users want thumb loops on gowns and half the users want elastic cuffs. We have the product knowledge and experience to reconcile those comments and turn them into manufacturing inputs for a single customized product.

We offer a full range of PPE products and can guide you through the product customization process to meet all of your end-users’ preferences. Our value analysis team is ready to survey your staff about their requirements to define the best products for your needs. We bring robust support for product conversions and the deep category knowledge needed to keep your staff and patients safe.

For more information, please contact William Fallon at