Partners In Care, the leading provider of Home Health and Hospice services in Central Oregon, is addressing the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing its established Emergency Preparedness Plan. The plan, according to their clinical management team, is heavily influenced by the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oregon Health Authority and local public health officials. There are three main goals: protecting caregivers, preserving capacity to serve patients and families and strengthening Partners In Care for continued service.
Stringent protocols for their homebound and facility-based patients are designed to ensure safety and minimize exposure to COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”).
“Our first priority is always the care and safety of our patients and their family caregivers. In light of the recent pandemic, we have a responsibility and obligation to do all we can as an organization and as individuals to limit the spread of this disease,” Eric Alexander, CEO of Bend-based Partners In Care said in a press release. “Partners In Care is a robust and successful organization with strong, resourceful and resilient teams and individuals who have consistently demonstrated an ability to navigate through situations and events to acceptable outcomes.”
Elderly and immunocompromised patients account for a large part of Partners In Care’s patients. While the organization continues to admit Home Health and Hospice patients, all patients receive a risk assessment for COVID-19 prior to every home visit.
Protocols include a minimal visit plan based on patient needs; use of disposable items and personal protective equipment; continued sanitation; ongoing, daily monitoring of staff wellness; and staff avoidance of highly populated areas personally and professionally. At their in-patient Hospice House in Bend, all visitors are carefully screened prior to visiting patients. Screening includes specific questions, sanitizing and taking the temperature of each visitor.
Alexander continued, “We have also temporarily or indefinitely postponed all of our bereavement support groups, staff and volunteer trainings and community education programs. Our in-person volunteer and Transitions program visits have also been discontinued until such time social-distancing is no longer recommended. Support for community palliative clients will continue by phone and limited in-person consultations.”
Partners In Care will continue to monitor the situation and keep the public informed of further developments through Facebook and partnersbend.org. The central phone line, (541) 382-5882, continues to be answered by staff 24/7.