News Roundup April 17th, 2020
his week we focus on real life stories across the US on how agencies and clinicians are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are some moments where a clinician must decide whether the risks are too great to take in assisting patients. Fearing for their safety, stories of clinicians stepping away from duty are not unusual in this time of pandemic.
“A home healthcare nurse from Henry Ford Health System said she quit her job during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis because she was concerned about her life and the safety of her patients.”
“Home care did not have the right precautions before they made the decision to take COVID-19 patients,” Ashman said. “Again, you have isolation kits. Make sure they’re not listed on the same day as current patients.”
An estimated 3.3 million workers make up the home healthcare industry. Shortages in supply and support is taking a toll on the industry. Hospitals are in taxing situations and nursing homes are taking precautions against outbreak, home care is often becoming the last frontier to manage patient relief.
“Home health workers — comprising nurses, therapists and personal care aides — provide a range of medical and daily-living services to nearly 12 million people, most of them elderly and many chronically ill, disabled, bedridden or coping with Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive issues. And while they are a critical link in fighting this deadly pandemic, they’re overlooked in daily briefings by the White House Coronavirus Task Force and ubiquitous media reports.”
In parts of Ohio, health professionals are changing the way patients receive care by embracing telehealth and out of office visits. It is in this view home health is pioneering into new territory with administering care when more established institutions are becoming scarce and inadequate.
“McCrone keeps all the information in one place instead of going in and out of hospitals. Tap Cloud is a program on her mobile phone that lets McCrone track symptoms and set telehealth appointments via FaceTime.”
In Texas, stories of home health care workers gaining more visibility as frontline workers are seen when healthcare are forced to both innovate and improvise with mobile workers outside of hospitals.
“We’re talking daily about doctors and nurses in hospitals and clinics but there is another group of frontline workers who have had to switch up how they provide care: Home Health health care workers that bring care and services to patients’ doorstep.”
“In addition to adding screenings for everyone, there are tele-visits and they’re spreading countless informational materials.”
And finally, in Chicago, patients with special needs still need care and help with their day to day. When they need support home health clinicians are there to assist despite challenges brought on by COVID-19. There is an increasingly tenuous link between offering support while keeping the infections at bay.
“When we think about people on the front lines of COVID-19, we often think about nurses and doctors.
But home healthcare workers face significant challenges, especially those who work with people who have special needs.
Workers at Anixter Center’s McLean House on Chicago’s West Side don’t have the option of staying home. People here depend on them to carry out basic daily tasks.”