Non-Direct Care Employee Safety

 

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 Dated as of April 15, 2020

Latest News on PPE

During this unprecedented time, we want to keep our clients, employees, and community partners updated on our aggressive efforts to secure personal protective equipment (PPE) and keep our employees and our clients safe. There are many constraints on PPE supply including distribution bottlenecks, supply shortages, and an alarming amount of scams. Despite these headwinds, our team is working as fast as possible to arm our employees and protect our clients with PPE and ultimately meet our new company standard for protective equipment: EVERY CARE MANAGER, EVERY VISIT.

If you’re having trouble coordinating a time to pick up PPE from your local office, please call and we will find a way to get it to you ASAP.

Current PPE Status:

  • Masks
    • Surgical masks are available at every branch office.
    • An additional large supply of surgical masks are in route to our offices based on new CDC guidelines for healthcare workers. The current delivery status is 2-10 business days.
  • Gloves
    • Gloves are available at every branch office with more in route. We’re providing a set number of gloves to ensure the protection of as many employees as possible. We’re evaluating the current supply and distributing more as needed.
      • 20,00 pairs of gloves in Houston
      • 12,000 pairs of gloves in San Antonio
      • 5,500 pairs of gloves in Denver
      • 200 pairs of gloves in Austin
  • Hand Sanitizer
    • We’ve purchased over 6 gallons of hand sanitizer and packaged them into ½ oz bottles. They’re being distributing to each office. Currently, supply is as follows:
      • 160 bottles in Houston
      • 140 bottles in San Antonio by Thursday
      • Supply to Denver and Austin is in route
  • Thermometers
    • We’ve purchased thermometers for all employees who do not currently have their own personal thermometers. Thermometers are used to check temperature before every client visit.
    • Current delivery status is 7-15 business days.
  • Goggles
    • 1,000 are in route to our Houston office. The original ETA was April 11th, but that’s been pushed and we’re awaiting a status update.
  • Gowns
    • 1,000 gowns are in route to our Austin office with an unknown ETA at this time, but we are in close communication with the supplier.

*For the most up-to-date availability of PPE and access to our supply, please call your local office.

**In addition to PPE, our experienced team of clinicians reviewed several training options on infection control and selected a training specific to COVID-19 that every employee in the company is required to complete and pass before accessing our PPE supply. We’re proud to say that hundreds of employees have completed this test with 90% scores or greater. Those that scored less than 100% are provided additional training and a chance to retake the test before getting their PPE.

“Shelter in Place” Guidelines

As “Shelter-In-Place” Orders are being rolled out in various cities and states across the country, we wanted to keep you informed of how these protective measures impact you and your clients. We have worked closely with care management companies in states previously impacted such as California, Washington, and New York, and every “Shelter-In-Place” ordinance has an exception that allows employees of care management companies to go to work because our business performs an “Essential” function, providing care to the elderly. Other “Essential Businesses” include grocery stores, laundromats, hospitals, home repair, banks, electronics stores, plumbers, movers, auto repair stores, and cell phone stores (just to name a few). Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio are under such an order as of Tuesday, March 24. As such, we wanted to reassure you that:

Under a “Shelter-In-Place” ordinance, AACM care managers are authorized to conduct essential in-person visits that you deem necessary for the care of your client.

We continue to provide remote monitoring options, especially for our clients in facilities that may have limited access. We are grateful that Federal (including the President’s National Emergency Order), State and local law and policy makers have recognized that our care managers are employed in an essential capacity, providing care services to vulnerable individuals, the elderly and people living with disabilities.  Will have provided letters for you to carry as proof of your “Essential” status for when you have necessary work in your community.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to call the office. In order to help foresee any issues we could be facing due to COVID-19, We have been consulting every day with highly reputable care management companies in Washington, California, and New York who are all under “Shelter-In-Place” orders and who are experiencing COVID-19 is a more pronounced way than we are. Fortunately, they have all been able to continue their work and do what we do best – care for those who need it most.

Accountable Aging Care Management is actively monitoring developments and guidance around the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Currently, we are conducting business as usual whenever possible though we’ve added additional safety precautions which we’ve outlined below. Additionally, we continue to prepare diligently for all other precautionary measures as needed.

The COVID-19 situation is evolving, and while we do not know what is coming next, we want you to be fully aware of and confident in the ways we have been preparing our teams to work within this higher-risk environment. Our COVID-19 preparedness is coordinated as part of our company-wide continuity efforts and is intended to allow us to support our clients’ needs while keeping clients, care managers, and all other team members safe.

Keeping You & Clients Safe

Our top priority is the health and welfare of our clients and employees. As a result, we have enacted the following precautionary measures, among others:

Regular Employee Screenings. Your health and safety are our primary concern, so we will be conducting screenings of all of our team members 2x per week indefinitely during this crisis. We will continue to re-evaluate the ongoing frequency and necessity of these screenings. Every employee will be screened for the following risk factors, and all screenings will be documented:

  • Fever or signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat;
  • Contact in the last 14 days with someone who has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19,
  • Traveled within the previous 14 days to a country with sustained community transmission per the CDC guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
  • Close contact in the last 14 days with someone who has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, is under investigation for COVID-19, or is ill with respiratory illness. “Close contact” is defined by the CDC Guidelines as:
    • being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case; or
    • having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on)

Care Manager Quarantining. We will be abiding by CDC recommendations by preventing any high-risk employees from visiting a client for 14-day period if that employee does not pass the above-mentioned screening. An employee cannot pass the screening if they have (1) recently travelled to a banned country, (2) exhibited flu-like symptoms, or (3) been in contact with someone believed to have COVID-19 per the CDC guidelines above. An employee may return to work if they are determined to no longer pose a risk to any client or other employee. For any care manager who reports symptoms of COVID-19, we will strongly recommend they follow the CDC guidelines for What To Do If You Are Sick, and immediately contact their doctor for further instruction.

Protecting Clients in Their Homes. Every employee will be required to follow a COVID-19 protocol for every visit in a client’s home, including:

  • Hand washing upon entry and exit;
  • Wiping down all hard surfaces with disinfectant at the beginning of each visit;
  • Reminding the clients and any care providers of regular and rigorous hand washing with anti-bacterial soap during the visit;
  • Reminding the clients and any care providers of the importance of adequate hydration of the client.
  • For any client who reports symptoms of COVID-19, we will strongly recommend they follow the CDC guidelines forWhat To Do If You Are Sick, and immediately contact their doctor for further instruction.

Working with Clients in Facilities. Facilities are implementing protocols that may affect our access to some of our clients.

  • Depending on the state of the client and our role with them, we may be considered essential visitors and have access to visit inside facilities.
    • The above COVID-19 protocol is to be followed
    • Stay up to date regarding any change to facility protocol
  • Depending on the state of the client and our role with them, we may be considered non-essential visitors and be restricted from entering certain facilities.
    • Identify point people to make regular check-ins to in order to remotely monitor
    • Communicate the plan to appropriate client contacts
    • Stay up to date regarding your access restrictions

Preparing You. The last few weeks, we have provided our team with regular updates on best practices and other updates related to COVID-19, including hand washing techniques and other safety measures. Besides ongoing education, we are currently stocking up on items in each office that will be made available to you for their use in the field. These include all available personal protective equipment suggested by the CDC. Based on the client’s condition, guidance for PPE will change.

As always, thank you for being the heart of Accountable Aging. It is an honor to serve our clients, and we don’t take that responsibility lightly.

Be well,

Alex Bonetti, Founder & CEO

Claire Montgomery, Director of Operations

 

Questions?

Please contact Claire directly.

(512) 923-9949