ECRI and HealthEquip have partnered to provide easy access to independent laboratory testing of N95-style masks, which are in great demand by healthcare organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. An independent organization, ECRI is offering specialized PPE testing services with customized consultation and recommendations to assist healthcare providers in keeping staff and patients safe. Moreover, Healthequip’s marketplace enables procurement of PPE from trusted sources and by adding ECRI’s testing services offers another layer of protection against counterfeit PPE.

“Aligning with ECRI to offer our buyers independent laboratory testing services makes sense because it provides an additional opportunity to validate products prior to purchase,” explains Bill Burke, CEO of HealthEquip. “The goal of our marketplace is to provide protective equipment to buyers that has been highly vetted through a series of steps including vetting the supplier for good standing, verifying FDA and CDC/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) certification at the item level, checking references, and indicating willingness to provide samples.”

ECRI’s N95-Style Mask Testing Program provides assurance on whether masks that an organization plans to purchase meets industry standards. In a recent study, ECRI found that up to 70% of the Chinese KN95 masks it tested do not meet U.S. standards for effectiveness. ECRI’s laboratories test the efficiency of masks using a machine identical to that which NIOSH uses in its N95 certification process to assure masks perform at the level claimed. ECRI provides buyers with data to make informed decisions and can recommend functionally equivalent alternatives to meet their needs.

By testing imported masks, as well as isolation gowns, ECRI helps healthcare organizations validate products prior to purchase and verify the safety and quality of products already in inventory, ECRI officials say.

“ECRI is excited to partner with HealthEquip and look forward to offering all PPE buyers added assurance, though our testing services, that they are getting the safe, high quality products that they expected,” adds Tim Browne, executive director of supply chain services at ECRI.