Wednesday, April 22, 2020

New COVID-19 Resources

Where to Turn for Help  
AHCA/NCAL has developed brief guidance for facilities facing PPE and staffing shortages, as well as other challenges in receiving assistance. It is critically important that you raise the alarm and you document your efforts to obtain support.

Communication Strategies for Keeping Families Up to Date  
Effective communication is always important but is critical in this COVID-19 environment with heightened emotions, fear of the unknown, and restrictions on family member in-person visitation. Family members want to know that their loved one is safe, that providers are doing everything possible to protect their loved ones, and to feel a sense of connectedness especially because they can’t be with their loved ones. 

AHCA/NCAL has developed some potential tactics and strategies to keep family members and loved ones up to date.

Updated: Steps to Limit COVID-19 Spread and Outbreaks in Long Term Care
COVID-19 spreads principally person-to-person, and often is spread by asymptomatic individuals who do not realize they are sick. Every interaction between people increases the risk of spread. This includes staff to staff, staff to resident and resident to resident. It’s a simple formula for how spread happens – the more interactions that happen with a variety of people, the greater the likelihood of spread. 

AHCA/NCAL has updated our resource on action steps to take and continually reinforce to limit the spread of COVID-19 with all staff and residents. 

Resource for Staff to Embrace Social Distancing  
The actions of frontline staff in and outside long term care facilities can make an impact in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Staff can also be strong ambassadors for best practices when in the surrounding community. It is important to arm your staff with knowledge they can implement at work and home as well as share with their own family and friends. 

AHCA/NCAL has drafted a template message for frontline staff on social distancing both while in and outside the facility. This document is intended to be distributed to or posted for frontline staff, to empower and encourage them to maintain social distancing and good hygiene. Tailor this message as needed, including any specific program(s) you are offering to staff members to make social distancing easier, such as assistance with acquiring groceries, offering transportation, etc.

Nebulizing Guidance  
AHCA/NCAL has developed new guidance that outlines when and what to do with COVID-19 residents with severe respiratory symptoms who need nebulizer treatments. CDC considers nebulizer treatments to be an aerosol generating procedure. This may increase risk of infection due to aerosols generated by the procedure or due to increased contact between health care providers and patients. Facilities should review the guidance and consider whether they can care for a resident who requires nebulizer treatment.

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