When the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent federal and state regulations/guidance and the county health order first affected our community a few months ago, we made many important decisions. We shared our desire and commitment to be transparent and provide helpful and useful information about COVID-19 and our efforts to respond to this pandemic. We alluded to follow-up communication but very quickly found ourselves consumed with the tasks of keeping up with daily new developments demanding our attention.
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
During this time, our leadership's two simple guiding principles in determining our response to this dynamic and often troubling environment have served us well.
- We will act to keep our amazing staff and their families safe and healthy while providing excellent care and doing everything possible to maintain our patients and their families' safety.
- We will also continue to act as responsible stewards of LightBridge resources while honoring our obligations to patients, families, community partners, and staff.
OUR COMMITMENT TO OUR PATIENTS
We remain steadfast in our commitment to our mission to care for our patients in their own home's comfort and safety. We are implementing strategies to improve our communication and are committed to providing routine updates and addressing significant events or changes on a timely basis. The following are a few of the strategies and protocols we have implemented.
- Our leadership team meets routinely and collaborates with colleagues across the country to ensure we meticulously follow all current state, federal and local regulations and guidance for the protection, evaluation, treatment, and containment of this virus.
- We provide real-time updates to our employees of all new verified information. Following CDC guidance, we require our team to screen themselves every day and their patients/families before every in-person visit and take actions required to comply with all precautions and restrictions to mitigate the spread of infection.
- Our entire field staff is fully equipped with all necessary PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and trained (with frequent updates) in the application, and appropriate use, for all situations they may encounter.
- In an additional effort to mitigate risk, early on, we moved some of our non-clinical operations to remote work-from-home assignments. In the office, we also maintain the highest standards of infection control procedures, including temperature checks, wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and observing all guidelines for hygiene and sanitization.
- Most recently, to assist our facility partners in complying with federal and state requirements for routine COVID-19 testing, we initiated regular monthly testing of our staff who provide in-person care to our patients residing in facility settings.
- We have increased our capacity for telemedicine by adding additional devices, platforms, and education for our staff and those for whom we care. If you are a patient and/or family not already taking advantage of these opportunities and wish to receive virtual visits or at least learn more about that benefit, please talk to your RN Case Manager.
- Early on, we made the important commitment to admit and care for COVID-19 patients and began to do so as soon as we were successful in procuring adequate PPE to ensure our staff, patients, and partners' safety. That demands vigilance and immediate response to any reports of exposure, suspected or actual. Any time a staff member, patient, or close family exhibits symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, we initiate the appropriate isolation and contact tracing protocols in our very best effort to mitigate potential exposure to others and reduce the spread of this virus.
To date, due to all of those combined efforts, while providing care for many hospice and palliative care patients in a variety of settings across the county, we are pleased to report less than a handful of our employees have contracted COVID-19. All have recovered completely and returned safely to the work they love -- caring for our patients. Equally important to report is the fact that of the COVID-19 patients we've served (some of whom have also recovered), efforts to contain exposure have been successful. We are very thankful and feel very blessed!
WE ARE NEVER MORE THAN A PHONE CALL AWAY
As you know, this continues to be an evolving battle, but we want to assure you we are and will always be here for you! It has been our honor and privilege always, for almost two decades, to care for and support our hospice and palliative care patients along their unique journeys. Our commitment has become even more profound during these challenging times. Never hesitate, please, to reach out to your RN Case Manager or other members of your care team if you have any questions or concerns. Some of our patients reside in facilities where our onsite access may be limited, so it becomes even more important to remember we are never more than a phone call away (24 hours/day, 7 days/week).
We hope this update has been helpful. Going forward, it is our goal to provide more timely communication. More than anything, we want to continue to reaffirm our unwavering commitment to your comfort, safety, and peace of mind. We remain dedicated to that mission and hope you will feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you might have.
Jill, Pam and the entire LightBridge family