April 20, 2020
Care Dimensions COVID-19 Update & Precautions
The health and safety of our patients, their families, staff and volunteers are Care Dimensions’ top priorities. We are actively monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and are closely following the guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).
Seeing our patients regularly and frequently is essential to providing quality hospice, palliative care and HomeMD primary care services. Care Dimensions employees are fully trained in infection control practices and comply with OSHA regulations and DPH guideline concerning universal health care precautions. In addition, during this response to COVID-19, we have activated the following procedures:
- Additional mandatory staff education on infection prevention procedures, the COVID-19 virus, and Care Dimensions precautions and procedures, so all staff have the latest information.
- Employees and volunteers are required to stay home when feeling sick. They must be fever free for 24 hours before returning to work.
- Employees and volunteers are being strongly discouraged from travelling internationally. Those returning from a CDC Level 3-defined country or certain US communities with widespread ongoing disease and travel restrictions may not return to work or see patients until 14 days after their return.
- Employees and volunteers who have had prolonged close contact to someone with confirmed or presumed diagnosis with COVID-19 or who has traveled to the countries or communities listed above, must report this to their manager to assess whether they need to self-quarantine for 14 days.
- Employees are not permitted to attend any conferences and have been instructed to avoid large public gatherings.
- Patient visits in most facilities have been reduced to nurses, social workers, chaplains, and hospice aides to comply with DPH guidelines.
- We are working with each hospital and nursing facility to comply with their individual regulations and screening of our staff.
- Visitors to our hospice houses (Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers and the Care Dimensions Hospice House in Lincoln) have been restricted to immediate family members (as defined by the patient) only, with a maximum of 2 visitors at at time and 6 per patient, per day. Visitors are screened upon entrance for temperature, symptoms and potential COVID-19 exposure to assess need for further precautions, and must wear a mask at all times while in the hospice house. Common areas of the houses are closed and visitors must stay in patient rooms.
- Cleaning services at our offices and hospice houses include enhanced disinfection of all high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, handles, counters and railings and common equipment.
- All in-person support groups, trainings and meetings with non-staff members at our facilities have been suspended. Some support groups have started to meet online.
- Routine work-related meetings are being held virtually with video and teleconferencing and staff are prohibited from working at more than one Care Dimensions location.
- Care Dimensions equips clinical staff with a supply of hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial wipes and personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gowns and goggles. Due to limited commercial supplies and under guidance from the CDC, we will only use PPE when medically indicated to conserve supplies for when they are truly needed.
- Care Dimensions has a comprehensive Emergency Operations Plan, which has been activated and will be amended as this crisis response progresses.
As you know, this is a very dynamic situation and things are changing quickly. We are continuously assessing our procedures and we will issue updates as needed.
Care Dimensions is committed to keeping our patients, families, staff and volunteers healthy. If you have any questions about a patient’s care plan or want more information about our risk-mitigation approaches, please contact us at 888-283-1722 or email us at CovidQuestions@CareDimensions.org
Thank you for your patience and partnership in ensuring a safe and healthy environment for all.
Care Dimensions Hospice House Video Tour
The Care Dimensions Hospice House, located in Lincoln on the Waltham town line, is a gracious and private home-like setting for patients who need hospital-level care for complex pain and symptom management. To learn more, call our Referral Center at 888-287-1255.