Strategies for Healthy Buildings
Dr. Joseph Allen, Director of the Healthy Buildings program and Assistant Professor of Exposure Assessment Science at Harvard University’s Department of Environmental Health discusses strategies for healthcare practices as they begin re-opening. Dr. Allen advises Fortune 100 companies across the U.S. and is co-author of the book Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity.
MedPro has received numerous questions from insureds about how to document changes or variations in care as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We recommend developing a consistent approach to documentation that includes an explanation such as “In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, …” and further describes clinical decision-making, actions, variations in care, follow-up treatment, etc. For example:
“We are rescheduling [PATIENT NAME] appointment because it is not considered an essential treatment under the state’s emergency declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The appointment was rescheduled for [DATE], and the patient was advised to contact the practice or go to the emergency department if any changes occur.”
“We are administering [DRUG NAME] regimen” OR “We are administering [DRUG NAME] because [DRUG NAME] is unavailable due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“In response to the COVID-19 surge and increased hospitalizations, we are halting elective procedures on [DATE] to redistribute nursing staff to support other patient care activities.”
“In response to the COVID-19 surge and increased hospitalizations, we have hired [NUMBER] locums providers on [DATES] from [COMPANY] to address staffing shortages.”
“In response to the COVID-19 surge, we stopped offering cardiac catheterization procedures on [DATE], but have an agreement in place with [FACILITY] to provide emergency cardiac catheterizations until we resume this service.”
“In response to the COVID-19 surge and staffing shortages, we decided on [DATE] to allow asymptomatic healthcare providers who have had a higher-risk exposure to SARS-Cov-2, but who are not known to be infected, to shorten their duration of work restriction per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance Science Brief: Options to Reduce Quarantine for Contacts of Persons with SARS-CoV-2 Infection Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing.”
Patient Advisory and Acknowledgment Forms
Ambulatory healthcare settings — such as surgery centers, medical offices, and dental practices — face challenges in determining how to best serve patients and maintain safety. Although many ambulatory facilities are postponing appointments and procedures or offering telehealth consultations, they are still providing onsite care for patients who have emergencies. To help protect the health and well-being of patients and healthcare providers/staff, MedPro has developed a form titled Patient Advisory and Acknowledgment Regarding Receiving Treatment During the COVID-19 Pandemic. To download an editable PDF of the form, select a version below:
Preparing for Post-COVID-19 Operations Checklists
In the weeks and months to come, as the COVID-19 pandemic begins to recede, healthcare providers will likely have questions about how best to reopen their practices or resume their typical routines. The process that each healthcare organization should follow will vary depending on the type of facility, its patient/resident population, and the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on its operations.
Although no “one-size-fits-all” approach will cover every scenario, MedPro is developing a series of checklists to provide guidance to various facility types. Click below for:
Preparing for COVID-19 Vaccines
As COVID-19 vaccines become available in the United States, healthcare providers require strategies and up-to-date information to proactively prepare for the significant tasks associated with implementing effective vaccination programs. MedPro has developed the following informative resources to assist insureds:
Risk Tips: Preparing for COVID-19 Vaccines. This publication offers strategies that provide overarching considerations for preparing to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to patients and addressing vaccine-related questions and concerns from patients and staff. Links to more detailed resources also are included to further assist providers.
Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 Vaccination, Precautions, and Healthcare Operations During the Pandemic. This document provides insight from our Senior Patient Safety and Risk Consultants in relation to common questions about COVID-19 vaccine precautions, risk strategies, and other practice management concerns.
12 Tips for Addressing COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Among Patients. With the current volume of information related to COVID-19 vaccines and the multitude of information sources, patients might encounter confusing, contradictory, or nonfactual information. This article offers healthcare providers 12 tips for engaging vaccine-hesitant patients and helping them make informed decisions.
Preparing for Difficult Situations
COVID-19 has created an enormous amount of stress, anxiety, fear, and uncertainty in day-to-day life, particularly for healthcare workers. Balancing worker and patient safety, patients’ needs and expectations, and business concerns is a monumental task and may ultimately lead to difficult situations or exacerbate already problematic circumstances. MedPro has created the following resources to help insureds navigate some of these issues.
Ethical Concerns About Terminating a Provider–Patient Relationship During the Pandemic. Decisions, choices, and actions that were already difficult prior to COVID-19 — such as terminating a provider–patient relationship — have become even more complex in the face of the ongoing pandemic. This article offers tips and strategies for healthcare providers to consider when evaluating whether and how to terminate a difficult patient relationship.
Managing Patients Who Refuse to Wear Face Masks or Adhere to Other COVID-19 Safety Precautions. Dealing with difficult patients has long been a concern in various types of healthcare practices. With the added pressure of a worldwide pandemic and varying opinions on how the country and states have handled it, healthcare workers might face opposition to their practices’ policies and protocols. This article offers numerous strategies for setting expectations and communicating with patients about practice requirements as well as handling patients who do not adhere.