Telehealth: Caring for Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

Telehealth: Caring for Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

By: Melissa Popp, BA, RN, CHPN – Executive Director, Transitions Hospice   The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted nearly every aspect of our “normal” way of life. By including the use of technology in palliative care and hospice services, telehealth has ensured the continuity of services, wherever the patient resides, in the midst of the health crisis.  As Transitions quickly shifted to telehealth visits, we received overwhelming support from our partners, patients/families and team members. Nearly 20 of our skilled nursing providers we serve quickly embraced and supported the use of telehealth for both palliative care and hospice visits. Also, patients welcomed receiving care at home, allowing our team to provide the necessary services and resources. Lessons Learned: The use of telehealth has ensured timely assessments and interventions to support improved clinical outcomes and increased patient/family satisfaction. However, implementation was not without a few bumps along the way.  After identifying our internal procedures and implementation plans, we reached out to each administrator to discuss their facility’s current status, and if telehealth could be a possibility. A few important areas that needed to be addressed at each facility included: Determining the process for the telehealth visit, like obtaining appropriate consents, Providing digital devices pre-loaded with the Zoom app and instructions Cleaning procedures, and;  Training for staff and patients/families.  When visiting a patient at home, creativity has been key. Each patient/family situation is unique, and so are connectivity and access. Developing appropriate procedures and workflow for conducting timely visits were key to keeping communications in sync. It has been a growing experience for our Interdisciplinary teams (IDT), who are especially used...
Palliative Care: Why it’s so important in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Palliative Care: Why it’s so important in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic

By: Kuljit Kapur, D.O., Chief Medical Officer, Transitions Hospice In light of the COVID-19 health crisis, palliative care hotlines and telehealth visits have become the new innovations to address the surge of consultations. COVID-related pneumonia and the variable manifestations we are seeing in the different age groups requires expert management of fever, dyspnea, upper airway congestions, nausea, anxiety and delirium. Now more than ever, palliative care provides essential support to patients.  Read the complete article in the Case Management and Social Work magazine >> Resource articles regarding palliative care during the COVID-19 pandemic: Palliative Care’s Evolving Guidelines During the COVID-19 Crisis Pandemic Palliative Care: ‘Beyond Ventilators and Saving Lives‘ Palliative Care: ‘The Secret Weapon Hiding In Plain Sight’ At Transitions, our goal is a holistic treatment approach that addresses both medical and psychosocial needs, including symptom management, counseling and community service support. Learn more....

Transitions Hospice Expands Services into Northwest Indiana

(CROWN POINT, INDIANA – July 14th, 2020) — Transitions Hospice has been approved to begin caring for patients in Northwest Indiana. This includes Crown Point, Merrillville, Valparaiso, Portage, Chesterton, Hammond, Gary, and other cities in the region. The addition grows Transitions’ presence in Indiana beyond the Indianapolis area in which they currently operate.    Transitions offers the highest level of hospice and palliative care. Since its inception in 2007, Transitions has continued to grow with a patient-centered mindset. Each patient receives a customized care plan and a dedicated team of caregivers, including nurses and social workers who are available 24 hours a day. As founder and CEO Jim Palazzo puts it, “At Transitions, we are truly dedicated to the patient. We’re committed to 24/7 care wherever our patients are most comfortable, and I believe our rapid growth is a reflection of the dedication that our teams bring to each patient they serve.” In regards to the opening, Palazzo said that he is “excited to show our passion to ‘The Region’ and continue to make a difference in not only our patients’ lives, but the lives of their families as well.” Adding to his excitement, Palazzo added that as a graduate of Purdue University, he has “always wanted to extend our business into Northwest Indiana, and I am glad to say that day has finally come.”     Patients and their families can inquire about hospice or palliative care in Northwest Indiana right now by visiting transitionshospice.com. If you would like more information about Transitions Hospice and other companies contained within the Transitions Group, please contact James Dale, Social Media Manager,...

Transitions Hospice Expands Services into Springfield, IL

(SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS – July 14th, 2020) — Transitions Hospice has been approved to begin caring for patients in the greater Springfield, Illinois area. This includes downtown Springfield, Jacksonville, Sherman, Petersburg, and other surrounding cities. The addition extends Transitions’ services further into southern Illinois, adding to the 38 counties in the Chicagoland, Central Illinois, and Indianapolis regions in which they currently operate.    Transitions offers the highest level of hospice and palliative care. Since its inception in 2007, Transitions has continued to grow with a patient-centered mindset. Each patient receives a customized care plan and a dedicated team of caregivers, including nurses and social workers who are available 24 hours a day. As founder and CEO Jim Palazzo puts it, “At Transitions, we are truly dedicated to the patient. We’re committed to 24/7 care wherever our patients are most comfortable, and I believe our rapid growth is a reflection of the dedication that our teams bring to each patient they serve.” In regards to the opening, Palazzo added that he is “excited to show our passion for hospice to Springfield and continue to make a difference in not only our patients’ lives, but the lives of their families as well.”     Patients and their families can inquire about hospice or palliative care in the Springfield area right now by visiting transitionshospice.com. If you would like more information about Transitions Hospice and other companies contained within Transitions Group, please contact James Dale, Social Media Manager, at 630-470-8403 or via email at jmdale@transitions.group.   About Transitions Hospice:  Transitions Hospice was founded in 2007 by owner and founder Jim Palazzo under the Transitions...
COVID-19 Letter and Announcement

COVID-19 Letter and Announcement

March 21, 2020   Dear Valued Healthcare Partner,   Transitions Hospice highest priority has always been to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients, their family members and our staff. The current COVID-19 pandemic means it is critical that we take every precaution possible to prevent this virus from spreading by following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with Federal, State and local health departments.   Precautionary measures Transitions Hospice immediately implemented are as follow: Our clinical and administrative staff have implemented strict precautionary measures to assist in the containment of this virus; Encouraging staff to work remotely whenever possible; Daily monitoring of employees’ health status with screening questionnaires and temperature being taken upon entering offices; Universal precautions are being exercised by all staff by consistently practicing the proper infection control protocols recommended by the CDC; Cancelling all non-essential meetings and holding essential meetings remotely via Zoom   Transitions Hospice is now expanding on precautionary measures by minimizing exposure in assisted living and skilled nursing facilities where the most vulnerable reside. The CDC has done a careful review of the death rate in the elderly, especially those with chronic illness. Experts are recommending we all take action to limit individuals from assisted living and skilled nursing facilities to reduce visits and exposure at all means necessary while continuing to provide essential care.   The high visit frequency that you are accustomed to receiving by the Transitions Hospice care team may put your patient population at risk. We believe that limiting these visits and the number of staff that enter your facility is a prudent directive from our Federal, State and local governments....