as of March 17, 2020
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to evolve rapidly both globally and in our local communities. In keep with our organization values, the CDC recommendations and the guidance from the State of Maryland, the quality care we provide to our patients and their families and the safety of our care team members remain the two most important priorities for our leadership team at Hospice of the Chesapeake.
The Hospice of the Chesapeake Emergency Preparedness Taskforce is taking steps to ensure the safety of all members of our family—our patients, their family members, our volunteers and our care team at large.
Given the seriousness of today’s conditions, we believe new guidelines are in order. Effective Tuesday, March 17 we will implement the following changes until further notice.
- We are following the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) around infection control, travel advisories and illness screening for all.
- We have developed a comprehensive plan to maintain the safety of everyone while ensuring that we can continue to journey with families who are living with the advanced illness of a loved one including those who may be suspected or confirmed to have the COVID-19 virus.
- We remain committed to our core value of service to others who are experiencing the end of life.
- We are exploring and utilizing all technological solutions including telehealth that are available to us and when appropriate implementing them on a case by case basis.
- Reeducating and reinforcing appropriate uses for infection control measures for our patient care teams to keep them healthy and safe during this time.
- In most cases, we have moved our Volunteer Services to a telehealth model ensuring we honor the strong bonds our Volunteers have while keeping the health of all involved a priority.
Visitation to Inpatient Care Units
- We are welcoming loved ones who want to visit our patients for essential visits but ask that you use your best judgement in visiting considering the new guidelines.
- We will screen all visitors appropriately on arrival based on the CDC and CMS guidelines.
- We will continue to provide our standard individual grief support counseling but will contact each client prior to arrival for screening and, if appropriate, offer telephonic support rather than an in-person session.
- We will continue to offer our grief support groups at this time. We are exploring technological solutions to in-person group meetings for our clients.
- All grief support clients who arrive onsite to any of our locations will be screened for illness and travel concerns.
Administrative Teams, Meetings and Office Visitors
- To ensure the health and safety of our care teams and limit their unnecessary exposure, we are allowing our administrative team members to telework where appropriate.
- We are limiting our meetings and office visits to “essential” only.
- All essential visitors will be screened appropriately upon arrival.
- Technological solutions are being offered for non-essential visitors.
- We encourage everyone in the Hospice of the Chesapeake family to stay as informed as possible during this rapidly evolving epidemic.
- We also encourage you have a plan for your family during these challenging times.