Accentcare and our COVID Response

Slowing the spread of COVID-19, while maintaining continuous, high-quality care for our patients requires scale, scope, and expertise. That’s how AccentCare leaned-in to the COVID-19 challenge. It also how AccentCare is transforming care for the months and years to come.  And most importantly:  Keeping You Safe.

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SAFEGUARDING OUR PATIENT

With over 50,000 patients across 31 states, AccentCare responded quickly to the challenges presented by COVID-19 to ensure timely and safe care delivery for our patients. Some of these actions included: early and decisive action to obtain PPE, stand-up of a Dallas-based central distribution system, establishing an executive command center, creating a virtual case conference operating procedure, and most importantly, a detailed COVID-19 patient care protocol:

The AccentCare COVID-19 Patient Care Protocol includes:

  • Ensuring that caregivers enter the home with proper precautions, three levels of screenings and attestations occur before each home visit, collecting relevant information about travel, potential local exposure, and symptoms.
  • Caregivers execute a strict PPE utilization protocol based on the case specifics.
  • All caregivers are required to perform and document a self-symptom check before visiting patients.
  • All reporting and attestations are consolidated real-time in the medical record.
  • Leverage central service centers to rapidly deploy resources according to the needs of any of AccentCare’s 246 offices around the nation.
  • Rapid learning cascaded to the entire organization from the successes of AccentCare’s offices located in COVID hotspots such as New York City and Boston.

TRANSFORMING CARE

While many home health agencies lacked the ability to quickly respond to COVID-19, AccentCare leveraged its national platform and capabilities to transform its clinical operations to meet the needs of patients in the environment brought forth by the pandemic.

A result of COVID-19, AccentCare quickly invested in new products, services, and technologies that will position AccentCare to safeguard our patients, and provide high-quality care both now and following the COVID-19 pandemic. Some examples of these new products, services, and technologies include the following:

  • Established a COVID Response Team (CRT): During the peak of COVID, AccentCare’s  400+ caregiver CRT had the capacity to care for more than 3,000 COVID positive patients across the country, supported by a streamlined, centralized case review and acceptance process.  As we have moved to the next chapters of the pandemic, the key learnings gained from our CRT have been applied throughout our caregiver team.
  • Launched CarePath Suite of Products:
    • COVID CarePath: AccentCare was one the first, and in many regions, the only home healthcare company that accepts COVID positive patients, anchored by the clinical COVID Response Team
    • Surgical CarePath: A multi-dimensional, specialty-specific suite of home-based care designed to substantially improve surgical outcome, while maximizing your pre-hab, re-habilitation, and post-surgical recovery away from dense public sites, such as hospital campuses.
    • Intensive CarePath: A Hospital-to-Home care service, for the patient with chronic diseases that require repeat hospital observations and sometimes admissions.  Like Surgical CarePath,  Intensive CarePath is designed to skip high-risk environments such as SNF’s and rehab hospitals
  • Telemedicine and Telehealth: Expanded existing telemonitoring capacity for chronically ill patients, and newly launched the extremely successful Synzi virtual visit platform. Within the first month, over 1,500 virtual visits occurred across AccentCare
  • Expanded behavior health to support isolation depression and those patients who need support as they approach the resumption of their healthcare journey.

While no one could predict COVID-19 and we are uncertain how long it will remain, strong organizations like AccentCare have positioned themselves to lead our communities through the remainder of this pandemic, all while continuing to provide exceptional outcomes and excellent patient experience to those we serve. In crisis, or in calm, our organizations successfully distance ourselves from the pack, never losing sight of our call to purpose, our missions, and our patients

What is Coronavirus:

COVID-19, coronavirus, is a new virus that is believed to have originated in China in late 2019 and has since rapidly impacted individuals on all continents other than Antarctica. Most medical professionals believe coronavirus is spread much the same way as the common cold, such as when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, and the severity of those symptoms range from mild to very severe.

Across the world, new cases of COVID-19 are being reported daily, and this is causing some parts of our own country to consider declaring a state of emergency. AccentCare is continuously monitoring the communications from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as should you, if you want the most current, most authoritative information on coronavirus, please visit www.cdc.gov.

 

AccentCare and Our Response:

AccentCare is responsibly prepared for Coronavirus, COVID-19. We’ve trained, we’ve checked, and double-checked our protocols, we’ve established a central command and control structure to manage our care delivery system from our offices all the way to your home.

We remain prepared to care for patients. We have protocols in place, including training our staff and practicing for these scenarios. We also have protocols to stay connected with infection control and prevention teams, the CDC, and public health authorities. We are monitoring this issue closely and taking necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our patients, caregivers, and our community.

That’s the message we want you, our patient, to know. We want you to be fully assured we are taking action, and we respect that you are already taking extraordinary steps to safeguard so many parts of your life. By being transparent with you about our preparations, we hope to earn your trust and continue with you on your journey of recovery from the condition that brought you to us in the first place.
AccentCare has taken the following steps to train and educate staff on COVID-19, Coronavirus:

 

Here are some things we are doing at AccentCare to lower the risk of contracting coronavirus. 

  • Vigilantly following CDC’s updates and guidance
  • Providing extensive training for our caregivers
  • We’ve developed clinical programs for screening individuals, both our caregivers and our patients, using CDC’s stated symptoms
  • Established and communicated to our caregivers the appropriate standards and practices for hand hygiene, use of sanitizers, and the cleaning of surfaces and equipment with EPA approved disinfectants.
  • Taken exceptional steps to instruct our employees on the proper use of applying and removing personal protective equipment, or PPE as you may hear it referred to in the media.
    • We’ve also established systems to optimize our inventory of equipment.
  • We’ve also taken deliberate steps to safeguard the health of our caregiver workforce and restrict our employees that are under surveillance or suspicion of exposure.
  • Leadership is monitoring the threat and taking action as the situation develops.

When our caregivers and care partners visit you for your continued care and support, you should expect:

  1. Your caregiver has completed a mandatory symptom self-assessment immediately before visiting with you.
  2. Your caregiver is using infection control protocols and universal precautions before every visit.
  3. Your caregiver is documenting their self-symptom check before each visit
  4. Your caregiver is also actively screening you to ensure that any suspicious symptom is brought to light, and acted upon appropriately.
  5. Your caregiver is equipped with the CDC recommended PPE according to the situation,  and is well-trained on its usage

 

What you can do:

  1. Stay aware of the situation. The CDC is the nation’s authority on the matter. You can follow their communications at CDC.gov.
  2. Always practice careful personal hygiene, especially frequent hand washing.
  3. Practice social distancing as much as reasonably possible.
  4. When in public, maintain a six-foot distance from others.
  5. Stay aware of symptoms and take action if they occur.

If you think you have been exposed to the virus and have respiratory symptoms, please call your health care provider as a first step before going into the doctor’s office or your local emergency or care clinic. A health care provider can give you instructions for seeking care in the safest manner for both you and those you may come in contact with.  If you are an AccentCare patient or client and have either been exposed to or have contracted coronavirus, please call your local office so that we can best serve you safely.