FAQs- Updated April 30, 2020
The health and safety of our residents and staff remains our highest priority. Our goal is to continue to be as transparent as possible with information while maintaining the privacy rights of all of our residents and staff.
We understand that families and friends of our residents want to be kept updated and we are doing our very best to keep everyone informed. Please submit questions regarding our COVID-19 emergency management plan to COVID19info@kirkhaven.com. We will respond to your questions in our FAQ updates and in accordance with State and Federal laws.
We continue to partner with the Department of Health to implement every measure possible to stop the spread of COVID-19. The entire Kirkhaven team is focused on this enormous task and we remain committed to our mission and values as we safeguard and care for your loved ones and each other during these unprecedented times.
We respectfully ask for your continued understanding and support of these priorities. Our hearts go out to our residents, our staff and all friends and families who have been personally affected by this virus.
What are you wearing in the common areas to protect the residents from asymptomatic persons?
The following are the quarantine measures we have in place:
- When the first positive case was identified, we proactively quarantined all four households as an additional precaution, ahead of Department of Health recommendations.
- A quarantine separates residents to their rooms and restricts their movement internally on the household. At this time, residents are not permitted to visit other households or common areas that are not part of the household where they reside.
- Universal masking policies are in place – ALL employees and visitors MUST wear masks. All residents have facemasks to wear when in the presence of staff or when they have to leave their room. Residents leaving the household for medical reasons must wear a facemask.
- Communal dining and group activities have been canceled. Most residents are receiving their meals in their rooms and are encouraged to remain in their rooms. If a resident requires closer supervision, the common areas are open to them. Social distancing practices are in place to the extent possible in the common areas of all households.
What is your process for “scrub in and out” when going up to the floors? What are you doing to protect residents from staff?
- All employees are actively screened for COVID-19 symptoms immediately upon reporting to work and every (8) eight hours while at work, including temperature checks. All employees must wear a surgical mask when working on resident households or in other areas where residents reside and when within 6 feet of a resident.
- Hand washing supplies and/or alcohol-based hand sanitizer is readily available in all resident rooms and common areas for use by residents, staff and approved visitors.
- ALL staff working on all households are wearing the appropriate CDC recommended personal protective equipment (PPE): gowns, gloves, masks and face-shields based on the medical diagnosis and/or the presence of any COVID-19 signs and symptoms.
Do the staff move freely between floors during the work day or evening?
- Staff are consistently assigned to a floor to work their shift. Staff do not move freely between floors during the work day or evening.
- The RN Nursing Supervisor, House Manager and Infection Prevention Nurse and Chief Nursing Officer have responsibilities throughout the building and therefore must visit all households for clinical oversight, care coordination and to conduct training and education.
What is your training on PPE for your staff and who is getting that training?
- We are providing ongoing education to staff on how to properly select and utilize PPE and how to safely remove PPE per the CDC guidelines.
- ALL staff are receiving ongoing training in use of PPE. Training is provided by a Registered Nurse and/or Human Resource team member who have received special training in the use of PPE. We have also utilized online videos for teaching use of PPE – provided by the DOH and CDC. All staff must demonstrate proper use of PPE.
Does Kirkhaven have adequate staffing?
- Yes, we have maintained adequate staffing and continue to recruit and hire licensed professionals, certified direct care and support staff. Employment applications are accepted on-line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Our clinical leaders are working alongside our direct care team members to help balance workloads. Additionally, a number office staff and support service associates who are trained in providing direct care are willingly adjusting their work schedules and accepting alternate responsibilities providing direct care.
- We are appreciative of the consistent support we are receiving from our contract partners in the greater Rochester community.
What are your housekeeping practices right now?
- The Housekeeping and Environmental Service team members are wearing CDC recommended PPE and working together to thoroughly clean and disinfect resident rooms and bathrooms at least daily using EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant.
- Housekeeping, Environmental Service, and Nursing team members are working together to specifically disinfect high touch areas several times a day in resident rooms, bathrooms, and common areas. All staff throughout the building are cleaning their work areas regularly.
- Cleaning and sanitation of dining rooms is completed before and after meals and as needed after each use.
What is your process for treating COVID-19?
- There is no specific medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19. People infected with COVID-19 receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms and are given medicines and treatment for pain, fever, and coughs.
- For severe cases of COVID-19, treatment includes support for vital organ functions; such as use of a ventilator. This level of treatment is not provided at Kirkhaven and so the resident would be transferred to a hospital based on their individualized advance directives.
- The medical and nursing staff is continuously monitoring symptoms, and discussing care needs and treatments with designated representatives based on the resident’s wishes that are stated in their advanced directives.
- Residents have the right to make advance directives concerning their medical treatment, including the right to create a Health Care Proxy, Living Will, and an order called “Do Not Resuscitate” under public health law.
- Residents and their designated representatives have the right to be informed in advance of the risks/benefits of proposed care, treatment and treatment alternatives/options and the right to choose the same. Residents have the right to request, refuse, or discontinue treatment and the right to refuse/participate in experimental research.
What process can you create for more transparency and communication?
- In an endeavor to maintain total transparency, we will continue to post general information related to any positive COVID-19 cases, or if any resident suffers a COVID-19 related death, along with communications, resources and new or revised policies on our website.
- When there is specific information to share involving our services and/or organizational policy we will promptly communicate these updates on our website and also directly to resident representatives via the US Postal Service.
- Our clinical team members and medical providers will continue to notify resident representatives directly by phone of resident health changes in accordance with State and Federal regulations and our notification of status change policy.
- Over the last two weeks our Social Workers, Life Enrichment staff and Nursing House Managers have managed over 75 video chats and phone calls connecting residents with their families and friends.
How do you address End of Life Issues?
- Kirkhaven has always held a resident’s end of life time as sacred. We work to identify the signs of decline and help families understand the process and make decisions that uphold that persons advance directives and end of life wishes.
- These are unprecedented times and without a doubt we are seeing a higher mortality rate related to COVID-19. However, our commitment to providing respectful, attentive and compassionate end of life care has not wavered.
- When we identify an elder who is declining, medical providers, direct care staff, supportive care staff work together to attend to that individual’s needs. We inform families of our observations and bring them into the discussions around end of life care.
- We understand the concern families have, not being able to be with their loved one during this difficult time. Staff have been able to connect our residents with families through facetime, zoom or just phone calls so that residents can hear their loved ones voices. For families choosing to do so; we are able to offer short visits (15 minutes), one family member at a time.
- We offer music and comfort visits in room by our own recreation, social work staff and chaplain. We frequently check on the resident for comfort and care, as well as increase our time sitting at the bedside for support & reassurance as we’re able.
- We also offer Hospice services, for which we partner with Lifetime Care Hospice. These services allow for additional support through specialized nursing consults and increased individual aide service. Family support and bereavement counseling are also offered through Hospice.
What households are the positive COVID-19 residents located?
- All positive COVID-19 cases have been relocated to a designated area on the 5th household. These residents remain on strict isolation and consistent staffing protocols are in place. All four households of the building remain under quarantine and although supplies are limited, we continue to receive and utilize CDC recommended PPE.
When can positive COVID-19 staff return to work?
- Nursing home employees who test positive for COVID-19 but remained asymptomatic are not eligible to return to work for 14 days from first positive test date.
- Symptomatic nursing home employees may not return to work until 14 days after the onset of symptoms, provided at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and respiratory symptoms are improving.