COVID-19 Updates – Digest for Week of August 24, 2020 (To Date)

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

This work week is not quite over yet (I’m writing this on Thursday morning) however there are some items I want to be sure you’re aware of before more information is provided.

We were experiencing technical difficulties with the audio recording, so the post showed nothing in the recording.  We have fixed that issue this morning and the recording is available.  I encourage you to go back and listen to it.  We apologize for any inconvenience this caused!  If you didn’t see or have a chance to view that post, take a look at it fairly soon as there is regulatory information in it.

  • CMS has posted an updated version of the Toolkit on State Actions to Mitigate COVID-19 Prevalence in Nursing Homes.  This is Version 8.  Version 7 was provided approximately 1 week ago.  This version has 165 pages, 5 more than Version 7.  It provides great information for NHs in each state so be sure to bookmark or download it for easy reference.  Keep watching as there will be future updates, to be sure.
  • If you missed the Meeting the Dual Challenge of a Combined COVID and Flu Season webinar with Dr. David Gifford (sponsored by PharMErica), you can listen to the recording here.  I highly recommend you do – it provides great information for us as we move into the “twindemic”.

This webinar is Part 2 of a collaborative summer webinar series between AHCA and PharMerica reflecting on COVID-19’s impact on nursing homes and the actions of the government and industry leaders as a result. Speakers will examine the outlook for regulatory and policy changes as the COVID pandemic heads into the final quarter of 2020.

Key Webinar Learnings

What clinical steps are best to meet the dual challenges of flu season and COVID.

What has been done to restock and prepare for the possible second wave of COVID.

How to prep and educate staff on what has been learned from COVID in the spring as it relates to moving forward with practical steps to prevent infection and or manage residents who have been infected.

Click on Live Webinar Recording and get started after a very quick registration screen.

  • We should be seeing the updated COVID-19 Nursing Home Data any day now.  It was last updated for week ending August 9th so we should soon receive the data for week ending August 16th.
  • The Joint Commission is hosting a COVID-19 Q&A Webinar for Nursing Care Center Accreditation:

This 1 ½ hour webinar, led by a panelist of the Hospital subject matter experts, will discuss all of your questions live. Submit a question ahead of time when you register.

Register here.  You’ll see the link to Add to Calendar on that same website.

  • You might be interested in reading this opinion in the August 22, 2020 edition of The Hill.  White House Coronavirus Task Force is Missing a Nurse is authored by 2 nurses: Anna Dermenchyan is a critical care nurse and director in the Department of Medicine Quality at UCLA Health. Kristen Choi is a psychiatric nurse and assistant professor at the UCLA School of Nursing. I’ll whet your appetite to read the entire piece with these quotes:

“The in-depth knowledge of the whole-person needs of patients would help policymakers consider all the implications of the pandemic and where resources are needed for public health problems beyond infection control alone. The code entrusts all nurses to collaborate with other health professionals and the public to protect human rights, promote health diplomacy, and reduce health disparities. The nurses’ foundational commitment to patient health – not cost, politics, shareholders, profits, appearances, or other competing incentives in health care – and the diversity of nursing practice areas make nursing expertise and perspectives a valuable resource in decision-making teams.

As COVID-19 cases skyrocket in the U.S. and a seasonal second pandemic wave looms closer, there is an opportunity to bring nurses to health policy decision-making tables that will benefit not only the sickest COVID-19 patients in hospitals but communities and the public as a whole. A trusted, patient-centered perspective of a nurse to the White House Coronavirus Task Force would ensure the right decisions are being made for the health and well-being of our communities.”

Well said, Anna and Kristen!  You make all nurses proud – couldn’t agree with you more.

  • The CDC has updated Guidance Documents.  The most recent updates came August 26, 2020.
    • Investigating a COVID-19 Case
    • Interim Operational Considerations for Public Health Management of Healthcare Workers Exposed to or with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19: non-U.S. Healthcare Settings