At Home Health Foundation, health and safety have always been of utmost importance for our patients and their families, as well as our dedicated volunteers and staff members. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, our Emergency Management Team has been in continuous communication, and we are actively updating our response measures according to guidelines set forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CD) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).
Home Health Foundation’s home health, palliative and hospice care services continue to be delivered without interruption by compassionate, expert caregivers who are fully trained in infection control practices. In addition to our compliance with OSHA regulations and DPH guidelines concerning universal health care precautions, Home Health Foundation has implemented the following steps to limit potential exposure of the virus:
- Telephone screenings are being conducted prior to all in-person care visits to assess COVID-19 symptoms and travel history within the past 14 days for patients and their family members.
- Wellness check calls are made in lieu of visits when appropriate, while evaluating visit frequency to ensure that patients’ needs are met.
- Clinicians are supplied with personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, gowns, goggles, hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes.
- Staff members are required to stay home when feeling sick. They must be free of fever for 24 hours before returning to work.
- Staff members must share their travel plans with Human Resources. Those who have traveled to a country identified as a Level-3 risk by the CDC must be assessed of the need to self-quarantine for 14 days.
- Employees are prohibited from traveling for work. Routine meetings are being conducted via teleconferencing.
- Visitors to the High Pointe House, the in-patient residence of Merrimack Valley Hospice, are limited and screened at the entrance for COVID-19 symptoms and potential exposure in order to provide additional precautions to those who require them.
- All volunteer programs, support groups, trainings and meetings with non-staff members have been suspended.
- Enhanced cleaning services include disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, including door handles, counters, telephones, faucets and common equipment have been implemented at High Pointe House and at our office locations.
Home Health Foundation is making every proactive effort to protect the health of the entire community while minimizing the risk of disruption to vital caregiving services. As this is a fluctuating situation, updates will be provided as they become available.