Merry Heart Health Care Center
Merry Heart Assisted Living
Beverwyck House of Merry Heart
Lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic:
1. The Covid-19 infection is extremely lethal and contagious.
2. The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been identified as one of the most precious resources in our facility. It is very important that our frontline staff are equipped with appropriate PPE during this pandemic.
3. We learned the disease process and how to prevent the spread of infection.
4. Our residents while they were more vulnerable, are also among the resilient people who endured this pandemic. Despite the lack of visitation from loved ones and abrupt cessation of communal activities, most of them were able to comprehend the necessity of the measures we implemented. Additionally, our residents were able to adapt and focus on the skilled care services and the innovative therapy programs to make the most of their time with us.
5. As a health care facility, we took our social freedom for granted. This pandemic gave us a broad perspective about the value of freedom and inspired us to be creative in executing the procedure which is required to maintain our sanity, mental health, and socialization of our residents.
6. Handwashing and all infection control procedures are extremely important in maintaining an infection-free environment.
7. We realized the importance data management which includes:
a. Our PPE burn rate
b. Data on staff member quarantine
c. Covid testing of residents and staff
d. Quarantine schedules
e. Data of symptoms monitoring
f. Visitors and employee screening data
8. The importance of continuing education and training that we provide and its value during the pandemic cannot be understated. All continued and updated training helped our staff to combat difficult situations during this pandemic.
9. We learned the importance of unity, team building, camaraderie that helped us to move forward in unison and a positive spirit and never give up attitude.
10. From a sanitization perspective we learned that all disinfectants are not effective against the Covid-19 virus. The importance of EPA approved disinfectant was understood very well by the staff.
Our outbreak response plan includes but is not limited to the following:
a. A policy on isolating and cohorting patients and residents in the event of an outbreak.
b. To establish a scientific procedure to investigate the outbreak of the disease.
c. Covid-19 infection prevention and control.
d. Covid-19 emergency preparedness management.
e. Isolation - categories transmission-based precautions.
f. Testing procedure and frequency of staff and residents.
g. Policies on mitigating personnel staffing shortage.
a. Daily communication to family members via email blast.
b. Daily communication to employees via text message.
c. Reporting data to NJHA daily.
d. Reporting data to DOH daily.
e. Reporting data to NHSN CDC twice a week.
Lab testing and lab data communication:
a. Policy on staff authorization for testing.
b. Policy on Resident authorization for testing.
Surveillance for infection:
a. Policy on limitation and visitation
b. Employee infection and vaccination status
c. Planning for additional staffing needs.
d. Backup plan for a potential second wave Covid-19 outbreak.
e. Flu vaccine administration.
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