COVID-19 Pre-screening: The Importance of Proactive Outreach
In a situation report released on March 11th 2020, the World Health Organization characterized the quickly spreading novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic.¹ With the number of COVID-19 cases rising by the day and concern over whether the outbreak could overwhelm the U.S. healthcare system, it is important to be proactive in the way that patients are screened and educated in the event that they are exposed to or at risk of exposure to COVID-19. A vaccine has not yet been developed for COVID-19, so it is critical that healthcare personnel are given the assistance they need in order to effectively manage patients who may be infected with or at risk of contracting COVID-19.
Importance of COVID-19 Pre-screening
Clinical staff are quickly becoming burdened with heightened measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within clinical settings, leaving little capacity to perform proactive patient outreach which could help lessen the impact of the outbreak on the community as well as the healthcare infrastructure. It is important to improve the coordination of care for those identified as potential cases through remote COVID-19 pre-screening. New information on COVID-19 is coming out nearly every day, and it is important that patients are being pre-screened in the most up to date manner so patients are given appropriate instructions on what to do based on their current condition.
Guideway Care’s Solution
Our digital capabilities make it easy to perform widespread outreach to a large number of patients in a short amount of time, helping healthcare organizations more quickly identify potential cases and escalate them to the appropriate clinical resource, while helping protect the capacity of clinical teams. In addition, our care guides – live persons armed with the ability to respond with compassion, sensitivity and clarity – are equipped with screening tools and responses to frequently asked questions.
Who Should Get Tested?
On March 8th 2020 the CDC updated the criteria to guide evaluation and laboratory testing for COVID-19. It is important that high risk populations are accounted for when doing screening for COVID-19, and that those who are at high risk are prioritized for testing. According to the CDC,² most patients with confirmed COVID-19 have developed fever and/or symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing). Priorities for testing include:
- Hospitalized patients who have signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19.
- Other symptomatic individuals, such as older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions and/or an immunocompromised state that may put them at a higher risk for health outcomes.
- Any persons including healthcare personnel, who within 14 days of symptom onset had close contact with a suspect or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient, or who have a history of travel from affected geographic areas within 14 days of their symptom onset.
Due to the novelty of COVID-19, directives on response and containment continue to evolve. Guideway Care is constantly monitoring updates from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and WHO in order to update our protocols to reflect the most relevant procedures regarding COVID-19.