New blog posts
- Home Health Nurse Reflects on 25-Year Career and Impact of COVID-19
- Nurses and Care Partners Give ‘All They Have’ While Confronting COVID-19 in First Hospice House Precaution Unit in Massachusetts
Safe with Us
At Home Health Foundation, we have a 125-year history of keeping our patients, their families and this community healthy and safe. Now more than ever, our home health professionals are going above and beyond in delivering the highest quality patient care, combining advanced telehealth technologies with extensive infection control measures. Our health care experts are working around the clock, with trademark clinical expertise and compassion, to ensure you are always Safe with Us.
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.
- Home Health Foundation is leveraging its knowledge of telehealth in new and innovative ways, and have expanded our telehealth program to meet this important need during the pandemic.
- Clinicians are supplied with personal protective equipment (PPE), including face shields, masks, gowns, hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes.
- Staff members are required to stay home when feeling sick. They must be free of fever for 72 hours before returning to work.
- 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. For more about High Pointe House’s visitor policies, please see below.
- Merrimack Valley Hospice’s We Honor Veterans program is offering volunteer services online via Zoom video conference.
- We are providing grief support groups online via Zoom video conference. Click here for more information.
- 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.
High Pointe House
Our team at High Pointe House values the trust you place in us to take care of you or your loved one. We continue to provide comprehensive hospice support while adjusting our visitation policies to protect the safety of our patients, staff and all visitors during the escalating spread of COVID-19 to ensure that you are always Safe with Us.
Upon admission, we test all patients for COVID-19 and maintain enhanced precautions for patients who are symptomatic while we await the test results. High Pointe House is making every proactive effort to ensure you and your loved ones are Safe with Us, while also minimizing the risk of disruption to vital caregiving services. As a result, we are writing to communicate our visitation policy adjustments to patients and families prior to arrival:
- Visitors are limited to immediate family (as defined by the patient) only, with a maximum of two (2) visitors at a time, and four (4) visitors per patient, per 24 hours.* Children 5 and under are unable to visit.
- If a visitor is staying overnight, they must arrive by 8:00 p.m.
- In accordance with Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines, residents of the following states are exempt and allowed to visit High Pointe hospice patients: Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
- For any visitors from any other states (any state not listed above) the visitor must present proof of a negative COVID test obtained within 72 hours of arriving to Massachusetts.
- If visitors cannot provide proof of a negative COVID test, they will need to quarantine for 14 days before visiting HPH.
- Family members arriving after the loss of their loved one may have two (2) people enter together, if the two (2) visitors are the same family members who had been present on the same day.
- All visitors are screened with temperature checks and screening questions before entry.
- We are also screening all staff daily via a self-reporting system prior to reporting to work with temperature checks and health screening questions.
- All visitors are given a procedural face mask to wear while visiting High Pointe House, and this mask must be worn at all times.
- All visitors must stay in the patient’s suite during the visit and must fully exit the building at the end of the visit. Social distancing of six (6) feet is to be maintained outside of the patient suite. Gathering in groups outside of the patient suite is not allowed.
*Additionally, for any patient who is COVID-19 positive, the patient will be put on full precautions. Our staff are properly equipped with protective personal equipment (PPE) as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The visitor guidelines in the precaution suite are different.
- A total of one (1) visitor, for up to one (1) hour per day, is allowed when death is imminent. The nurse will call a family member to arrange the visit. We will provide the visitor with PPE for the visit.
Home Health Foundation is making every proactive effort to ensure you and your loved ones are Safe with Us while minimizing the risk of disruption to vital caregiving services. Updates will be provided as they become available, including implementing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Protection and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.