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COVID 19 AND CARE INDUSTRY

The importance of the Slogan: “Stay at home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives”; can’t be stressed considering the current situation the whole world is in right now. This slogan rightfully suggests that if this isn’t adhered to lives are at risk.

But the question now is…How can the key workers such as nurses, care workers, doctors and other key workers adhere to this knowing that they are the ones needed to be out there to ensure safety? This is the pressure faced by providers in the care industry.

The Private care Industry, like the NHS, are currently under pressure to deliver. Presently they, and other key workers, have done a fantastic job in keeping the community safe and they are deeply commended for this. However, these unprecedented times highly suggested that demand for healthcare services would continue to rise hence putting pressure on the quality of support healthcare providers provide.

No doubt; to meet demand effectively and efficiently healthcare providers would have to think out of the box, whilst still being within the safety confinement of the policies and procedures governing the industry, to be ahead with demand.

 

WHAT ARE THE HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS FACING?

COVID 19 has proven to be a life threaten pandemic that has literally affected the whole world. Every business has now changed their processes….it now business unusual as they have to adjust or be obsolete.

The Care Industry is not left behind in this truth. In fact, with the kind of service provided they could be more susceptible hence they also have to adjust accordingly or be obsolete or even worse….be ineffective hence increasing the threat by poor service delivery.
Now the question is what should care providers do to keep both the care workers (who are out there at the front lines of the battlefield) and clients safe?

To thrive and ensure safe service delivery healthcare providers should consolidated 7 mains area in their organisation:

Recruitment:

Knowing the pressure due to increase in demand, this department should remain functional at its optimal level. Healthcare organizations would need every hand they can get as they can’t afford to miss any calls right now. Whilst this is true their recruiting system would still need a quality filter to filter in only the right ones as the wrong care workers would also threaten the quality of the service delivery.

Now the question is how can social distancing be adhered to considering interview has to be done? Online! There are virtual platforms out there such as Zoom, Microsoft, Facebook, Skype; that are free and very effective with the right internet speed.

This also is the time for healthcare organization to partner in sharing their pool of quality care workers. This would reduce times needed for safety checks and training as these care workers would be trained with the necessary checks. These documents would be shared with the organization receiving the care workers.

Training:

New recruits would have to be trained. Even old recruits would need retraining. The truth is we don’t know how long this lock down would be for and no healthcare providers has an excuse not to train their care workers even their managers.

There are virtual platforms out there that aids effective training. Where care workers would have their mandatory training and be given certificates on successful completion. Other trainings that requires a face to face can be done on the virtual platform mention above. In fact, a recording can be done by the lead trainer and then sent to all care workers. A test and virtual face group can be organized to ensure they understand.

Effective use and distribution of PPE:

Immediately Isolation was declared 5weeks ago everyone went into frenzy and survival mood. Guess what was on everyone’s shopping list…. right on top? Yea you guessed right…. PPE!!! This didn’t just make this run out quickly in every store, on a retail or wholesale level, but made those that have it restrict sales.

So, healthcare providers shouldn’t just partner with the right suppliers but should manage the use of their PPE effectively to avoid it running out hence increasing poor quality service which would increase the chances of spreading infection to care workers, clients and families.

Every PPE distributed must be recorded and signed by both manager and care worker. This would effectively track usage because if a case of unnecessary use arises it can be tracked against their roster.

Effective Call Monitoring and Rostering system:

Healthcare provider’s call monitoring system, more now than ever, should be fully functional (on an optimal level) and be able to ensure any calls missed or omitted be flagged and rectified immediately.

Management should ensure all their care workers are logging in, writing report and logging out on every call they attend. Anyone missed should be flagged, rectified and communicated to the care worker involved.

Management should also ensure rosters for every care worker, for at least a week, be sent out a week before on a certain day consistently. This would ensure care worker plan their personal events round their roster and not vice-verse hence ensuring calls are covered.

Effective Communication System:

I can’t even begin to stress the importance of effective communication system. Communication isn’t complete until the receiver receives the message on time and understands the context of the message the way the sender wants. So, if the sender sends a message and the receiver doesn’t receive it or receives it and doesn’t understand then communication isn’t complete.

The problem now is providers have 10, 15, 20, 30, 50, 100 or more care workers that needs to receive a message on time and understand it. You can send an email out, but the chances are less than half of the staffs would open their email on time. So, what should be done?

The faster way for a receiver to receive a message fast and understand it is if it’s a short message capturing the main context and send via text to their mobile. In this fast pace world, the is a higher chance for people reading and understanding a short message sent as text on their mobile phone rather than emails.

There are monitoring system that enables sending texts. This would further ensure they would read it as it would have the name of the organization has a header.

Working from Home:

Management may choose to work from home; this is fine so far meetings continues as usual. Importance of management rubbing minds to ensure quality and safe delivery can’t be stressed. This can be done virtually.

The platforms have video functionalities giving everyone the opportunity to see each other. A main criterion should be established with everyone dressed professionally hence promoting the right atmosphere.

Promoting Faith and not Fear:

Everyone is afraid and rightfully so. Undoubtedly, this pandemic has taken lives. But the HOPE is that the death rate would begin to sharply reduce, people’s health preserved and things getting back to normal (even better than normal).

Now the proviso for this is HOPE!

Good Hope is a preferred picture of the future. A clear hope imprinted in the mind of an individual would cause him to do the necessary to bring that hope from the abstract to the physical. Because of HOPE care workers, nurses and doctors even the retired ones choose to be at the frontline of the battlefield…. because of HOPE individual choose to obey the ‘Stay home’ advice and sacrifice
their social life…..because of HOPE the government choose to financially assist businesses and individuals.

To promote faith, which is the needed action taken to actualize HOPE, we all need to focus on a good HOPE that everything would be fine. Whilst it good to be aware of what is going on our minds should be fed with information that promotes good hope. This would lead us to do the necessary.

As an organization, what HOPE do you have? Is it of good or bad? This would inevitably be cascaded down to everyone in the organization hence affecting results.

The by-product produced by the pandemic is more deadly than this pandemic itself; which is fear.

As a healthcare provider we owe ourselves and the individuals we provide care too good hope. So, whilst the dead are been mourned, providers should consistently remind their staffs and clients that everything would be fine.
The Hope is that we would all come out of this stronger and better than we went it.

 

Stay Well and Stay Safe!

Segun Laniyan
Chief Admin Officer and Co-owner
Laniwyn Care Services.

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