What does person-centered care look like in the midst of COVID-19? Just as under any other circumstances, a person-centered approach is an approach focused on quality, compassion and partnership. These are the constants of person-centered care. As you vet any potential changes to person-centered practices in place in your organization, we urge you to consider the impact on these commitments you have made to your patients, residents, family caregivers, staff and your community.
UPCOMING FREE WEBINAR
Let’s Talk About Person-Centered Care During Pandemics
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
11:00 a.m. EDT
Please join leaders from Planetree International and Language of Caring for a free 60 minute webinar to address your concerns and questions about how to maintain a person-centered culture in the midst of the current COVID-19 outbreak.
The webinar will be recorded for those unable to attend live.
Based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, Planetree has compiled here a number of practical measures your organization can put in place to ensure your responses to the outbreak are person-centered. Please note these recommendations are based on current knowledge as of March 13, 2020. In addition, these recommendations do not override any local or regional restrictions, regulations or standards related to this outbreak.
A person-centered approach must first be grounded in safe, quality care. Given this, it is entirely appropriate for additional temporary measures around visitation to be put in place to safeguard patients and healthcare workers. These may include screening of visitors for symptoms, expectation-setting and education around hand hygiene and cough etiquette for visitors, and limiting or restricting visitation in instances where it is clinically contraindicated. In such cases, it is important to consider the impact of isolation on hospitalized patients and residents in long-term care settings. One strategy to help minimize the negative effects of isolation is to enable use of alternative mechanisms for interaction and social connection, such as Skype, FaceTime, etc.
Paramount to placing restrictions on visitation in a person-centered environment is how these restrictions are communicated. Messaging should include not only the limitations but also the “why” behind the limitations, along with an indication that policies will be continually reassessed as the situation evolves. Staff should also be educated so they feel prepared to answer questions about any changes to the policy.
Bedside Shift Report and Multidisciplinary Rounds
So long as healthcare professionals are exercising the necessary infection control precautions, at this time, there is no evidence to suggest that these person-centered practices should be discontinued during this outbreak. Asking the patient, “We’d like to come in to go over the plans for today. Are you comfortable with the full team coming in to meet with you?” provides the patient an opportunity to opt out if they have any concerns about the group bedside interactions.
Access to Information
So many of us are feeling overwhelmed with information about this outbreak. Unfortunately, there is much mis-information being circulated. This is only increasing feelings of anxiety and stress about what to expect, how to respond, etc.
Community members and staff look to healthcare organizations for reliable and credible health information. As you craft communications, Planetree encourages that you consult the CDC website and the World Health Organization website as up-to-date, factual and evidence-based sources of information to share.:
Care for the Caregiver
This is a stressful time for all. As person-centered organizations, our commitment is not only to patients, families and our community, but to the healthcare workers who give tremendous amounts of themselves―both physically and emotionally – to this work. Acknowledging and being responsive to the experience of staff, and the multi-faceted demands placed on them during these unprecedented times, is fundamental to person-centeredness.
The tools below spotlights some ways you can support staff during these challenging times: