Home Care Services during COVID-19
AHC specializes in caring for seniors in a variety of settings including retirement homes, long term care homes, hospitals, and clients in their individual homes. Amongst various efforts our current primary goals are to support critical initiatives including a single location staffing programs to reduce cross contamination of COVID-19. Staff, both in institutional setting as well and individual homes, including RNs, RPNs, & PSWs, are an increasingly at-risk group for contracting and spreading the virus given that many of them historically work at multiple facilities.
Among AHC’s many proactive efforts in mid-March we developed a “Staff Exclusivity Program” for our existing and new clients whereby we would designate our staff to work exclusively with a client or in a facility to reduce the risk that may arise with workers moving from different facilities or home-to-home. The goal was to greatly reduce the risk of transmission, provide care to that individual and added support to the facility staff, especially during the current situation where facilities are facing staff shortages. In addition, whether in a personal home or a facility, clients will receive signed confirmation from the company and our Employee(s) that they will not accept work elsewhere during the pandemic.
Our goal is to provide safe and reliable service that responds to the current pandemic and will continue to benefit seniors long term. We will work to safeguard sufficient staff for every home and facility to safely meet patient care needs, as well as assign staff to a single client or health care facility for the duration of the pandemic to protect healthcare workers and patients. Other COVID-19 specific activities that we have engaged in as of early March and continue to this day include:
- Specialized mandatory COVID-19 training for all staff;
- Daily self-screening to identify and report COVID-19 used by all caregiver staff;
- Visit-specific client screening to identify and report COVID-19;
- Supervisory screening of staff and clients by nurse case managers;
- Documented telephone screening of: (1) staff as part of all regular communication: and (2) clients 24-48 hours before every visit.
- Regular reminders and training for staff on:
- proper hand hygiene
- respiratory etiquette
- staff staying home if sick
- social distancing
- avoiding crowds and large gatherings
- avoiding non-essential travel into the community
- ensuring adequate access to appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- increased levels of cleaning and disinfection of the work environment.