COVID-19 Client & Family Update
Dear Client and Responsible Party,
We appreciate the trust and confidence you have in us as we navigate the Coronavirus pandemic. We are closely monitoring the situation and continuously updating our policies and protocols as new information and recommendations become available.
We are routinely participating in informative calls for healthcare professionals from the Department of Public Health, the CDC, and other public health authorities. Please know we are incorporating and following all recommended guidelines, including best practices for hygiene, infection control, social distancing, testing, and reporting.
Based on the recommended guidance from these authorities, we have established protocols related to the following:
- Conducting “Self-Screenings” for both clients and caregivers
- Clients returning from ER, Hospitals, SNFs, and Doctor Visits
- Client experiencing respiratory symptoms
- Clients and/or Associates testing positive for COVID-19
- Clients requiring aerosol treatments
- Falls and Incidents – as they relate to the utilization of ER visits
We have a dedicated collaborative team committed to maintaining the safety and well-being of our clients and associates. Together, we will implement the protocols on a needed basis and ensure we maintain compliance with all state and federal guidelines.
We are happy to report there are no confirmed cases of COVID—19 within our company. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that testing should be prioritized for the following groups:
- Hospitalized patients who have signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 to inform decisions related to infection control.
- Other symptomatic individuals who are high risk include, older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions and/or an immunocompromised state that may put them at higher risk for poor outcomes (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, receiving immunosuppressive medications, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease).
- Any persons including healthcare personnel, who within 14 days of symptom onset had close contact with a suspect or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient, or who have a history of travel from affected geographic areas within 14 days of their symptom onset.
Due to a lack of COVID-19 test kits and limited inventory of personal protection equipment (PPE), there is limited COVID-19 testing occurring in the surrounding community. Tests are reserved for the highest need. It will be some time until this changes. There are self-test kits that eliminate the need for PPE, but these too are limited at this time.
As you can imagine, this places a burden of preventive infection control and surveillance on our staff – to a point – where we need to treat any suspicion and symptoms or even a person returning from the ER or a hospital with the use of PPE for the situation. ER’s and Hospitals are considered areas of high community transmission. This extends to skilled nursing if there is a confirmed case in the community.
At this point, no one can predict from day-to-day if our caregiver will need to care for your loved one who may suddenly exhibit symptoms. In this situation, a mask would help prevent the spread of the virus. Because there is a shortage of PPE of all types, including masks and gloves, we ask for your help in procuring these supplies for your loved one to avoid unnecessary exposure. We are seeking these supplies from our resources as well, but quantities are limited. We fully understand this is easier said than done as we too are trying all channels – to include the Department of Public Health to procure these essential supplies.
Like many of our Responsible Parties, members of our leadership team are now working remotely from their homes. We also made the decision to utilize our version of “TeleCare” to better assist us in engaging our clients and caregivers as it relates to change in condition, routine nursing visits, and/or meaningful engagement opportunities. This approach allows us to see and collaborate with our clients, associates, and responsible parties using our mobile and virtualized capabilities while eliminating the risk of cross-infecting one another. We request your patience and prayers as we adapt and embrace these changes. Our nurses will conduct supervisory visits through “TeleCare” unless there is an emergency situation, and they have to assess. We ask that any changes you wish to make to your loved one’s care plan or daily tasks are communicated directly to your case manager or nurse, so that we may include these items in the care plan and daily tasks. This will streamline the process and allow the caregiver to fully understand and comply with the care plan.
We also understand your face-to-face interaction with your loved one during this time of isolation may be limited. To help improve connectivity, we are working with our caregivers on how to help keep everyone connected via “virtual visits.” We have provided our caregivers with simple instructions on how to use a phone for “FaceTime” and will continue to provide them with additional suggestions on meaningful engagement. We welcome any innovative suggestions you may have as well.
It has been a period of adjustment for us all now operating in this virtual world, but while our location may have changed for our day-to-day operations, it will not impact our focus or delivery of care services to you and your loved ones.
As we begin to look into the near future, we may all begin to experience the impact associated with medication disruptions and provider availability. We ask that you begin to review and consider the following
- Medications refills may become an issue. Please reach out to your pharmacist to gain an understanding of their approach on handling prescription refills and repackaging. If you are preparing your loved one’s pills and you are unable (due to quarantine) to get them packed, you may wish to consider having a delivery pharmacy package them for safety. Our caregivers are not allowed by licensure to do so. We can help you with this.
- If applicable, reach out to your home health provider and/or DME suppliers to ensure they are remaining open and prepared to assist with any medical equipment needs such as oxygen or delivering extra as available.
- We have resources for house call physicians. If this is something you may wish to consider – as some doctors’ offices are closed to visits or limited. Remember, these offices are considered a high-risk area of exposure.
We want you to know that we are committed to providing the best care, fulfilling our promises to you, and offering our support through this challenging time. COVID-19 has placed many challenges on the healthcare industry. I ask that you pray for those who remain on duty to heal, comfort, and protect the sick.
If you have any questions at any time, please feel free to reach out to your Case Manager. Please know that you, too, are in our thoughts and prayers, and we will overcome these challenging times together.
CaraVita Home Care Management Team