COVID-19 Update

As COVID-19 spreads across the nation and in the communities we serve, CHI Health at Home continues to make the health and safety of our patients and employees our chief priority. Our organization prepares and plans extensively for emergency situations and throughout this process, we have been continuously refining and implementing new procedures to ensure our clinicians and support staff are implementing the most rigorous infection control processes.

As we all face the challenge of the coronavirus together, we are committed to making sure our patients receive the care they need, while alleviating any fears or concerns about contracting COVID-19.

CHI Health at Home has an enterprise-level task force dedicated to preparation and planning to ensure every clinician and employee is following the most up-to-date guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, public health departments, and our hospital partners.

By keeping patients safe and healthy at home, we eliminate the need to visit or be readmitted to the hospital, where there is increased exposure to individuals who may be sick.

Among our extensive precautions:

  • Every employee has been educated on COVID-19, including the most up-to-date guidelines and recommendations from the CDC.
  • Every team member who conducts a care visit in a patient’s home will have fresh supplies for each visit to ensure there is no cross-contamination.
  • All clinicians will wear protective equipment such as gloves and masks, and gowns if necessary or requested by the patient. All equipment is sterile and will be put on in the home to ensure maximum patient safety.
  • A new telehealth option: All home care locations now offer telehealth options for patients. Our innovative PatientConnect technology makes it easier than ever for our patients to get the care they need, with our nurses available at the click of a screen or through an app. 
  • Our call center is available to patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, offering around the clock access for patient questions and concerns.
  • All employees receive regular and on-going communication about updated protocols and guidelines.

We are prepared to work through this pandemic to support the health and wellness of our communities by providing the highest quality of care.

We’ve got your back.

CHI Health at Home has built its reputation on providing exceptional care to our patients to keep them safe and healthy in their own home. Putting patients first and finding innovative solutions to new challenges is what makes us the best at what we do.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced health care providers around the nation to get creative with adapting to new challenges, CHI Health at Home was a step ahead in developing new ways to deliver excellent care.  

We know patients may be concerned to have visitors in their home during this time, so by embracing new technology and new programs, we can alleviate those fears and concerns while ensuring all our patients have access to the care they need to keep them safe and healthy. To help achieve this, we have implemented new telehealth and medication management programs.

TELEHEALTH:

Our state-of-the-art PatientConnect technology enables patients to become active in their recovery and have access to their care team at the touch of a screen. It’s an easy-to-use, modern solution that has been proven to help patients stay on their path to recovery and out of the emergency room.

How it works:

Telemonitoring: Patients can take their daily vital signs (such as blood pressure and heart rate) and enter this information in the secure app on a tablet or smartphone. The patient will then have a few follow-up questions to answer to help the nurse reviewing the information accurately assess their results. Our nurses will call to discuss any concerns and keep your physician up-to-date on your status.

Virtual Visits: For patients concerned with having additional people in their home for a routine visit, the platform gives patients the option to have a face-to-face virtual “visit” with their clinician and the ability to keep their caregiver involved in the communication process.

While our home care teams have this function through the PatientConnect platform, all home care and hospice locations also have licensed accounts through Zoom to conduct video visits. These secure channels give patients more flexibility in talking to their nurse screen-to-screen.

Patient Education: This technology is also about empowering the patient to become engaged in their recovery, and accomplishes this by enabling clinicians to assign condition-specific education to patients directly and monitor their engagement. By increasing health literacy, patients can better manage their condition and develop healthy habits.

MEDICATION MANAGEMENT:

Medication mismanagement causes hundreds of thousands of preventable emergency room visits every year, which is why CHI Health at Home has started a new program to provide comprehensive medication management for our medically complex patients. This comprehensive medication management program interfaces seamlessly with our state-of-the-art EMR and allows patients to have medications delivered straight to their home, organized and packaged to help patients manage their medication and know when to take it.

This service is a safer, more effective way to ensure our patients not only have the medication they need, but that they are taking it the way they should. It’s one more way to keep patients safe and healthy in their own home. Among the benefits:

Addresses potential risks with medications:  A pharmacist conducts a full medication review to identify any duplications or gaps in medications.

Limiting trips to the pharmacy: At a time when travel is restricted in most parts of the country, having your medication delivered to your doorstep eliminates another unnecessary public errand.

A safer experience: The program has a track record of success, resulting in 40 percent fewer hospital readmissions and hospitalizations.

A simpler experience: Keeping track of multiple medications and when to take them can be confusing.  This program makes it simple by pre-sorting and prepackaging your medication by day and time.

Home is the safest place to be during the spread of COVID-19, and we are here to make sure patients can adapt to the new challenges posed by the pandemic by making it easier than ever to get the quality care they need, all without leaving home.

Are you experiencing fever, cough, and shortness of breath? If you think you may have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or exposure, please stay at home to protect yourself and others.  You can consult the Catholic Health Initiatives COVID-19 website for additional information. The best first step is to use one of the remote resources:

Engage with the CHI symptom checker chat box. Get your questions answered and be routed to the right care for your unique situation from this page.

Start a virtual urgent care visit. Catholic Health Initiatives is offering free video visits with a healthcare provider for people with mild or moderate symptoms using the coupon code COVID19.

Think you may be experiencing mild or moderate symptoms of COVID-19? You can consult the Catholic Health Initiatives COVID-19 website for additional information and for free remote consults, including a symptom-checker chatbot and virtual care visits.

What To Do If You Are Sick (CDC)

How To Protect Yourself (CDC)

Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives (CDC)

Is it Flu or is it COVID-19? (CHI)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Website

 

While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought tragedy and grief to many of our communities, we also see glimmers of hope. We see hope in how communities are coming together to help the most vulnerable among them. We see hope in the courage our clinicians exhibit through the exceptional care they provide every day. And we see hope in the way our ministry has lived our mission in the face of this unprecedented health crisis.

These are just a few of the stories that keep us encouraged as we continue to serve our communities and make sure our patients have everything they need.

Nicole Main, Director of Population Health

Hear Nicole talk about the way our new telehealth program kept a patient connected to her care, even with the challenges posed by COVID-19. This patient wasn’t technically-savvy, but she was determined to be an active participant in her recovery, and our new telehealth program gave her the tools she needed.

Click here to watch Nicole's testimonial!

Tyler Clemmons, SW

Hear Tyler talk about how he’s seen people from around the community come together to help those who need it most.

Click here to watch Tyler's testimonial!

Kate Norwood, COTA

Hear Kate talk about how her community responded in the face of a natural disaster, on top of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to watch Kate's testimonial!

Gretchen Roentz, OT

Hear Gretchen talk about how she’s used her cellphone so her patients could Facetime with their families. For many of them, it’s the first time they were able to see their loved ones in weeks.

Click here to watch Gretchen's testimonial!

These are just a few of the many inspiring stories happening across our organization. We are proud of the way all our employees have responded to the pandemic and continue to go above and beyond in living our mission of providing patients with exceptional care and keeping them safe and healthy at home.