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Catholic Health Services Provides At-Home Care For Recovering COVID-19 Patients

April 24th, 2020
Coronavirus: What you need to know

There are three words every patient with COVID-19 wants to hear, “You’re going home!”

Even after discharge, the compassionate care provided by the clinical teams at each of Catholic Health Services’s (CHS) six hospitals, physician network and continuing care division continues.

CHS’s Physician Partners Medical Group and Catholic Home Care (CHC) have partnered to develop a new program designed specifically for COVID-19, allowing patients to complete their recovery safely outside the hospital. The post-discharge program brings physicians from CHS’s medical group together with CHC’s nursing staff and incorporates various technologies, including telemedicine and CHS eVisit.

“COVID-19 patients want to get home as soon as possible,” said Vice President of CHS’s Primary Care Service Anthony Ardito, MD. “Our post-discharge program, supported by CHS eVisit, is helping us transition many patients back to their most comforting surroundings while maintaining a high level of clinical care.”

A CHC registered nurse is assigned to a homebound patient. The nurse will visit the individual daily to monitor his/her condition and also educate the patient and family members on how to properly care for someone recovering from COVID-19.

“Our CHC nurses have long been an extension of the quality health care provided at CHS hospitals,” said CHC and Good Shepherd Hospice President Kim Kranz. “The program we have developed specifically for COVID-19 patients will give them and their family members peace of mind as they complete their recovery.”

Additionally, CHC provides the patient with equipment including a blood pressure cuff, a pulse oximeter to check heart rate and oxygen saturation and a tablet that allows for continual monitoring of the individual’s condition. Information such as vital signs and oxygen levels are transmitted electronically to a nurse several times each day, allowing for constant assessment.

With patient information from CHC nurses in hand, a physician from CHS’s physician medical group schedules follow-up visits using CHS eVisit, the health care system's telehealth platform. Should an in-person exam be needed, arrangements are promptly made for the patient to visit the physician's office. Once a patient is stable, he/she will graduate to his/her primary care physician of record.

“We want to ensure the discharged patient a high level of coordinated care with convenient access to their primary care provider,” said CHS Physician Partners Medical Group Chief Medical Officer Anvi Thakore, MD. “Our ability to use telemedicine allows us to connect patients to their health care providers without encouraging community spread.”