As we move into a new stage of these unprecedented times, we want to briefly pause and give thanks to BrightStar Care nurses, CNAs, HHAs, and all of our professional caregiving staff across the country who continue to deliver a higher standard of care and serve with passion to protect the most vulnerable in our communities. Like all healthcare workers selflessly putting their own wellbeing at risk to protect and save the lives of others, they are heroes on the front lines, and we could not be prouder.
We also wanted to share an update on our continued efforts to keep our clients, nurses, and caregivers safe and healthy during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
Our agencies’ professional caregivers follow the highest standards for infection control and patient safety
The highest safety standards, including infection prevention, according to the Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goals are already in place for every locally owned and operated BrightStar Care agency. Each BrightStar Care agency is required to earn and maintain Joint Commission accreditation, reinforcing our ongoing commitment to safety and further setting BrightStar Care apart as a quality-focused care provider. We want to ensure your loved one as well as over 15,000 caregivers and 4,000 nurses employed by local BrightStar Care franchise locations are safe and well, now more than ever.
Raising the bar on safety
Part of providing a higher standard of care means that we follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) standards for how to safely care for all clients. As a leader in providing the highest quality care, we will always go above and beyond traditional home care standards, which is why BrightStar Care developed a full Respirator Program, education, and safety training to ensure the highest level of safety for our agencies’ clients, nurses, and caregivers during this pandemic. Our program has aligned with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), CDC, and federal regulatory requirements. We have also worked diligently to provide our nurses and caregivers with OSHA-approved Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to minimize the risks of disease transmission.
During this pandemic, there are two types of clients we are privileged to serve:
- Symptomatic Clients – Those with a confirmed diagnosis, symptoms related to COVID-19, or exposure to a diagnosed or symptomatic individual. Primary symptoms of COVID-19 are defined by the CDC as fever, coughing and/or shortness of breath.
- Asymptomatic Clients – Those without symptoms related to COVID-19 and no exposure to diagnosed or symptomatic individuals.
In the interest of being respectful of caregivers’ comfort levels, each caregiver will be offered the option to volunteer to care for symptomatic clients. Those who elect to care for symptomatic clients will be required to pass a medical exam overseen by a physician to ensure they are safe to wear a respirator. These caregivers will be assigned to care for symptomatic clients only. Caregivers who are not caring for symptomatic clients will be assigned to care for asymptomatic clients. As our main priority is to keep all those in our care safe and healthy, separating our caregivers based on their clients helps us lower the risk of spread and contamination across asymptomatic and symptomatic clients.
The equipment used for each type of client differs to both ensure the highest level of protection and infection control while reserving certain critical PPE supplies for situations that truly require it. Each nurse and caregiver will go through a training program to ensure that CDC and OSHA standards are met, including how to properly fit, store, and use N95 masks when necessary.
Your BrightStar Care nurse and caregiver may look a bit different as they enter your loved one’s or your home as the country continues to combat the spread of COVID-19. Here’s a guide for what you can expect to see and how this better protects you and your loved one:
Care you can trust during uncertain times
By equipping our agencies’ nurses and caregivers with the highest level of training possible above and beyond what is traditional in home care, supplying them with personal protective equipment, and designating separate caregivers for symptomatic and asymptomatic clients, we can confidently deliver the same high-quality care to your loved one you have come to expect from BrightStar Care and give you peace of mind that they can stay at home safely. And by keeping people safe at home, we’re also doing our part to ease the burden on our healthcare system and our hospitals when they need it the most.
We also ensure clients’ safety by screening each caregiver and nurse prior to their shift. Using our proprietary technology, each staff member will fill out a questionnaire before beginning their shift to validate that they are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 and have not been exposed to anyone who may be at risk of carrying the coronavirus. Any staff member who does not pass the screening questionnaire will be instructed not to enter the client’s home and immediately call their BrightStar Care office.
Please know that we are taking every precaution possible to prevent the spread of the disease. Designated staff providing care for COVID-19 positive or symptomatic clients will not be providing care for other clients who are not diagnosed with or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
BrightStar Care is ready to help
If you’d like to learn more about our elevated safety standards and how BrightStar Care nurses and caregivers can help keep your loved one safe at home, or if you’d like to learn more about how to get in-home help for your loved one, please call 866-618-7827 or contact your local BrightStar Care agency.