Tag: social distancing

How Home Health Care Agencies Are Using Telehealth

By Lee Horner, CEO, Synzi

Lee Horner

Visiting nurses are valued for their caring and compassionate nature.  Their valuable skillset makes a difference in the well-being of their patients and the lives of patients’ families.  However, they face unique challenges amid the coronavirus as patients and staff are concerned about receiving in-home care during this time.  Bringing healthcare to the home is no easy task.

As NAHC President William A. Dombi stated, “Home care and hospice nurses, therapists, aides, and other providers who choose to use their lives to serve our country’s aged, disabled, and dying. This noble work deserves our recognition and praise.”

Home health agencies are on the front line amid the coronavirus pandemic. A recent Home Care Association of New York State (HCA-NYS) survey found that nearly half of agencies in the survey said they have experienced patients or family members refusing entry of home care personnel. “Different states and regions are at different stages in surveillance and monitoring,” Roger Noyes, director of communications at HCA-NYS, told Home Health Care News.

“This speaks to some very important educational and outreach needs to reassure patients and to ensure that vital care can be delivered,” Noyes said. In addition to patients’ hesitation to let nurses into their homes for in-person visits, many patients are already quarantined, sheltering in place, or social distancing. And, some patients are denying service because they appreciate their nurses so much that they do not want to risk getting their nurse sick in-person. Concurrently, the nurses themselves might also be wary of conducting in-person visits as they might not have sufficient protective gear and/or fear the risk of infection.

Agencies are implementing telehealth/virtual care to preserve their patients, their staff and their limited supplies. Technology can help agencies’ staff continue what they do – provide compassionate and critical care – and “be present” with their patients as much as possible. With technology, agencies can safely continue the delivery of care during this time and quickly communicate critical updates as needed. The technology helps home healthcare agencies:

With virtual visits, agencies are kept abreast of the realities of the patient’s home environment and their available resources (financial, food, social, etc.). Staff can continue to monitor their patients’ day-to-day situation and individualize the care (and conversation) to the “new normal” for the at-home patient.

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Working In The Healthcare Field During A Pandemic

Image result for covid 19 imageBy David MacQueen, Episode Alert

We have all heard of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) which is believed to have originated in the Wuhan province of China. Which it then started spreading across the globe from major outbreaks in countries like Italy, Spain all the way to the United States. We know now there have been a number of countries who have gone in a nationwide lockdown (Italy, Spain, France, Germany).

Here in the United States, many states have been doing everything they can to limit the spread. For example, most restaurants, bars, and other social gathering areas have been closed or limited. Unfortunately, for healthcare workers, you are on the frontlines of this pandemic. Which will mean you may be the best source of information for family friends and clients.

Here are some tips as to what you may want to do. First, let’s start off with yourself. As we mentioned you are one in the thick of this epidemic and you need to make sure you are being safe and keeping yourself healthy and alert.

Of course, you need to follow the usual protocols of keeping your distance from others (when you can), make sure to be washing your hands when you can and, maybe the hardest for many of those working inside hospitals and clinics, make sure to get a good night’s sleep and eat as healthy as you can to keep up your energy.

Being alert will not only be crucial to keeping yourself safe but it can save a patient or coworker from being exposed to the virus. Whenever a new patient or individual comes to your clinic or emergency room take note of any symptoms they may be experiencing. Some of the known indicators of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) may include some flu-like symptoms such as cough, fever, sweating, shortness of breath, fatigue and muscle pain.

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