With the sudden and rapid coming of the Coronoavirus (COVID-19), caring for patients at their homes has taken on even greater significance. Clinics and hospitals have been stretched to the limit and have found it challenging to scale up their efforts as the transmission of the virus escalates.

Potential coronavirus patients are being advised to stay at home and not immediately come in to their local hospitals or clinics for testing where they can potentially infect others. They are being advised to contact their primary care physician who will help them decide the next course of action.

In this kind of an environment, home health care becomes even more critical. Home health care providers can administer the coronavirus test at the patients home, eliminating the risk of widespread transmission while providing a more comfortable and safer environment for the patient.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has come up with this set of guidelines for home healthcare providers to assess the patients residential setting to determine if they are appropriate for home care. Here are the key criteria as per the CDC:

  • The patient is stable enough to receive care at home.
  • Appropriate caregivers are available at home.
  • There is a separate bedroom where the patient can recover without sharing immediate space with others.
  • Resources for access to food and other necessities are available.
  • The patient and other household members have access to appropriate, recommended personal protective equipment (at a minimum, gloves and facemask) and are capable of adhering to precautions recommended as part of home care or isolation (e.g., respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, hand hygiene);
  • There are household members who may be at increased risk of complications from COVID-19 infection (.e.g., people >65 years old, young children, pregnant women, people who are immuno-compromised or who have chronic heart, lung, or kidney conditions).

These guidelines could help home health care providers to provide the best care to their remote patients factoring in some of the new learnings around the Coronavirus.
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