As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, ensuring the safety of the most vulnerable populations is critical to slow viral spread.
With hospitals focused on addressing surges in capacity due to COVID-19, patients are being discharged after shorter inpatient lengths of stay. At the same time, some patients who would have otherwise been admitted to the hospital for inpatient care are instead receiving home health services. As a result, home health agencies are facing a higher census with more acutely ill patients.
To ensure the safety of patients and staff alike during this crisis, agencies are incorporating patient communication and employee protection protocols into their COVID-19 containment and mitigation plans. CipherHealth has developed automated outreach programs for home health agencies to monitor, educate, and communicate at scale – and preserve critical staffing resources for where they’re needed most.
Here are four ways CipherHealth is helping home health agencies adapt to COVID-19:
1. Automate Screening for Home Health Workers
Home health workers care for patients who face the highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 — and social distancing is nearly impossible due to the community-based nature of the work. The COVID-19 Staff Screening Program protects front-line teams by proactively assessing them for symptoms and ensuring they have the necessary PPE to keep themselves safe while providing the highest quality of care.
2. Quickly Communicate with Patients En-Masse
With information on COVID-19 changing daily, communicating and engaging patients on-demand is essential for home health agencies. The COVID-19 SMS Broadcast Messaging Program ensures all active patients on census stay connected with the latest information and education to support healthy behaviors.
3. Minimize Community Exposure with Ongoing Remote Patient Monitoring
To contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, it is critical to monitor symptom progression for all patients who have been tested for the virus. With our COVID-19 Patient Monitoring Program, patients have the resources necessary to follow proper isolation protocols and immediately alert the appropriate care team member if symptoms worsen. This frees staff up from making calls so they can focus on patients with urgent care needs.
4. Engage the Rest of Your Census (Including PUIs) with Automated Communication
Even with the use of home health services, patients require additional support in between visits to ensure they recover optimally and avoid re-hospitalization. With our Home Health Episodic Outreach Program, agencies can engage patients between visits to reinforce their care plan and avoid re-hospitalization — without exhausting current resources. Agencies can keep Patients Under Investigation (PUIs) safe by rapidly scaling operations to monitor and educate patients on symptom management and strategies to prevent viral exposure.
During the most dangerous public health crisis of our lifetimes, home health agencies play a leading role in ensuring the safety of patients and staff alike with consistent engagement and communication throughout the pandemic. As agencies and other healthcare organizations navigate the COVID-19 outbreak and its aftermath, our team remains committed to supporting our partners with the tools they need to reach and engage, to comfort and reassure, and to connect and heal the communities we collectively serve.
To learn more about how home health agencies are adapting current outreach programs to address resourcing challenges and proactively educate patients, please contact us or email [email protected]