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COVID-19Information Hub

COVID-19 Updates from our CEO

scott-powers

04.03.20

All Team Members,
A few times in the past month, I have discussed how I believe Elara Caring is going to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic as a better, strong company. Today, I want to give you some examples that demonstrate how my belief is already becoming a reality.

We have taken several steps to become a Partner of Choice for our referral sources and other providers. Across the industry, and as a result of the COVID-19 virus, patients and clinicians are concerned for their personal safety and are denying or being denied care. This week, we launched Elara Caring TeleHealth, which will help address these concerns for its patients, partners and caregivers.

Our patients can now receive the vital care they deserve through interactive video visits from their clinician, minimizing risks to COVID-19 exposure. These services will be rolled out across our entire footprint in the next several days.

We are incorporating DocuSign to gain consent for hospice care electronically. This helps our hospice team because given the current situation, it is difficult at times when the patient, power of attorneys, and doctors are not able to travel to give in-person signatures.

Our sales team has been working hard to continue to sell in this new environment. Many are still out seeing customers, but where we have access issues, the team has been selling through FaceTime, texting and email communication. They have been having virtual meetings with our referral partners and working hard to keep them informed of why Elara Caring is positioned to take on more patients during this pandemic.

There are also key focus areas on new referral streams like Emergency Departments, Urgent Cares and Specialty Physicians, who don’t normally refer to home care.

Our outreach team has been calling patients to let them know we are here for them during this difficult time, reaching more than 9,000 patients in our most recent outreach. And our CAREtinuum group has also been working to ensure patients are getting proper care, as well as providing referrals to branches when patients request resumption of care, reaching another 1,000 patients daily. All of this reinforces our commitment to patient and caregiver safety. 

Multiple data reports indicate we are distancing ourselves from the competition with our ability to adapt, innovate and problem solve during this crisis.

We are growing as “One Elara” and I couldn’t be more proud. Keep up the great work and keep delivering our mission – Right Care, Right Time, Right Place. 

Scott Powers

Chief Executive Officer

03.30.20 • A Video Update from our CEO

03.23.20 • An Audio Update from our CEO

03.23.20 Audio message from Scott Powers regarding COVID-19

Click to Access: 03.27.20 PPE

Direct Care Staff,

As you have seen from several recent communications, the nation continues to experience personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages.  Of particular interest to us is the lack of available N95 respirator face masks, which are to be used with positive COVID-19 patients.  

On March 25 we updated you that the CDC has indicated it is permissible to use masks not evaluated or approved by NIOSH. As a reminder, the use of an N95/respirator mask is only necessary for confirmed or pending test results COVID-19 patients. As we continue to explore all of our supply inventory avenues, we have identified the ability to purchase KN95 respirator masks. These KN95 masks are respirators certified as meeting the N95 standards and can be expected to function very similarly to one another. We have placed an order for 50,000 of these KN95 respirator masks and will distribute these to our team members accordingly. Below are some reminders and good information about the use of respirator masks during this national shortage (KN95, N95, N99, N100s etc…):

§  Respirator masks such as N95s and KN95s require the employee who is going to wear one to be fit tested initially and annually.  

o   The Dept. of Labor is currently waiving the annual requirement for the fit testing due to national shortages.  

o   The initial fit testing is still a requirement.   

o   Therefore, if you/your employee has never been fit tested, they would have to be fit tested before using one of these masks.  

§  We have several fit testing kits across our organization. In the event your location does not have one, and cannot borrow one from another Elara Caring location nearby, many locations have had great success with their local Occupational Health clinics in getting their staff sent in for fit testing.  Below are a few examples, but, if these clinics are not in your area, please work with your supervisor to find an Occupational Health clinic nearby.

o   Concentra

§  Please notify Ian Gordon if there are any issues with obtaining testing at Concentra. 

o   Health Express
 

§  Extended use and reuse of respirators is currently permissible. See the policy sent out on March 26 titled: GUIDANCE FOR EXTENDED USE AND LIMITED RESUE OF N95 FILTERING FACEPIECE RESPIRATORS. Below are some specific points to remember:

o   Discard respirators following use during aerosol generating procedures.

o   Discard respirators contaminated with blood, respiratory or nasal secretions, or other bodily fluids from patients.

o   Use a cleanable face shield (preferred) or a surgical mask (can be homemade) over a respirator and/or other steps (e.g., masking patients, use of engineering controls), when feasible to reduce surface contamination of the respirator.

o   Hang used respirators in a designated storage area or keep them in a clean, breathable container such as a paper bag between uses. Clean hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after touching or adjusting the respirator (if necessary, for comfort or to maintain fit).

o   Avoid touching the inside of the respirator. If inadvertent contact is made with the inside of the respirator, perform hand hygiene as described above.

o   Follow the manufacturer’s user instructions, including conducting a user seal check.

o   Discard any respirator that is obviously damaged or becomes hard to breathe through.

We hope this information will assist you as we continue to see the numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases climb across the United States, and these patients require care in their home settings. 

Click to Access in English: Update COVID-19 Screening Flow Chart 3.24.20
Click to Access in Chinese: 03.24.20 Update COVID-19 Screening Flow Chart – Chinese

Talking points as some patients are declining visits from our staff due to fears of the virus.

    • These are for internal staff use only.  Not to be distributed to patients.
    • Will primarily be utilized by Intake/ Auth/ eligibility, Bedside staff and sales
    • They can print these and have at their side in the event they need some scripting to help the patients understand we are here to care for them, and they need us now more than ever.

Click to Access: Update Patient Talking Points 3.24.20

Talking points as some patients are declining visits from our staff due to fears of the virus.

    • These are for internal staff use only.  Not to be distributed to patients.
    • Will primarily be utilized by Intake/ Auth/ eligibility, Bedside staff and sales
    • They can print these and have at their side in the event they need some scripting to help the patients understand we are here to care for them, and they need us now more than ever.

Click to Access: 03.17.20 Covid Update

 

A note from CEO Scott Powers regarding COVID-19.

Click to Access: CDC Respirator Checklist


All Team Members,

The COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. The update below only applies to patients with known or suspected COVID-19:

The Department of Labor released a memo on 3.14.2020 for health care workers involved in the care of patients with known or suspected COVID-19. Below is updated guidance related to the types of facemasks that healthcare workers may use in situations involving COVID-19.   

In Summary:

  • Following President Donald J. Trump’s memorandum on the availability of respirators during the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued new temporary guidance regarding the enforcement of OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard. This guidance is aimed at ensuring healthcare workers have full access to needed N95 respiratory protection in light of anticipated shortages.
  • OSHA recommends that employers supply healthcare personnel who provide direct care to patients with known or suspected coronavirus with other respirators that provide equal or higher protection, such as N99 or N100 filtering facepieces, reusable elastomeric respirators with appropriate filters or cartridges, or powered air purifying respirators.

Please remember that this level of facemask is only required for known or suspected COVID-19 cases. Elara Caring will be using the attached checklist as a decision tree as we work through continued supply inventory concerns.

We are continuing to work with Medline and are pursuing other vendors to assure we have adequate supplies on hand. We still need you to rely upon Medline as the first source of supplies, but, if they cannot meet your needs, then we would ask that you try next to borrow from another branch and then finally that you source the supplies from a local vendor of your choice.


Click to Access: Covid-19 CEO Update 3.13.20

 

A note from CEO Scott Powers regarding COVID-19.

Click to Access in English: 03.13.20 Coronavirus Patient Flyer – English

Click to Access in Spanish: 03.13.20 Coronavirus Patient Flyer – Spanish

Click to Access in Chinese: 03.13.20 Coronavirus Patient Flyer – Chinese

Click to Access in Russian: 03.13.20 Coronavirus Patient Flyer – Russian

 

A patient flyer with informative information about COVID-19 and what Elara Caring is doing to help prevent the spread of the virus

    • We ask that branches print and have staff take to patients homes/facilities on their next visits
    • We will have this flyer available in Spanish, Chinese and Russian formats next week
    • The flyer will be posted to the marketing portal for staff to order in color format

Click to Access: Covid update 3.6.20

A note from CEO Scott Powers regarding COVID-19.

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