How to prepare your skilled nursing facility for coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 (commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus) has become a significant public health concern that is now impacting post-acute communities across the US.

At IntelyCare, we have been closely monitoring the news and the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (AMDA). With those recommendations in mind, we have developed a two-pronged action plan that will mitigate the impact and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community, and yours.

 

THE INTELYCARE COVID-19 ACTION PLAN

 

PART ONE: Coronavirus Best Practices Assessment

Each facility should ensure that their staff is up to date on the COVID-19 best practices, as outlined by the CDC. If your team is still in the process of developing your own coronavirus contingency plans, we recommend reading this CDC article – Strategies to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities – as a great starting point.

At IntelyCare, each one of our nursing professionals (IntelyPros) will be required to pass the COVID-19 Best Practice Assessment within the IntelyCare app. This will ensure that IntelyPros are up-to-date on COVID-19 best practices when they enter your facility. This course will provide the most current COVID-19 management practices, as outlined by the CDC and AMDA.

 

PART TWO: Coronavirus Symptom Questionnaire 

As a further precaution, each employee should report any symptoms related to coronavirus. This vigilance is especially important at skilled nursing facilities, where residents often have weakened immune systems. Every nurse or nursing assistant should be assessed daily for symptoms of the coronavirus before entering the facility.

At IntelyCare, we are taking a proactive approach to protecting our IntelyPros, our facilities, and their patients. Each of our nurses and nursing assistants will be required to take our unique COVID-19 Symptoms Questionnaire.

How it works…

  • All IntelyPros will receive this questionnaire 36 hours before their shift start time. If an IntelyPro picks up a shift less than 36 hours before shift start time, they will be sent the survey upon accepting the shift.
  • The survey will ask the IntelyPro if they have recently traveled to countries designated as a Level 2 or Level 3 COVID-19 alert by the CDC. They will also be asked if they have experienced a fever, cough, or shortness of breath in the last 14 days.
  • IntelyPros that report experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be removed from the shift and a member of our team will reach out immediately.

We will continuously update the questionnaire to reflect the CDC’s current list of countries designated as a Level 2 or Level 3 alert.

Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we anticipate that the CDC and AMDA will continue to update their recommendations, so our clinical team will continue to reconfigure the course and symptoms questionnaire as new best practices emerge.

 

Does your facility need help with your staffing needs? Request a demo with a member of our sales team for a walk-through of our intelligent solution.

IntelyCare was created by nurses, for nurses. We’re here to take care of those who take care of everyone else; our staffing solution gives nurses the opportunity for a better, more flexible schedule to help reduce nurse stress. Apply today to join the future of nursing.

Coronavirus Best Practices: How nurses and nursing assistants can keep themselves and patients safe

COVID-19 (commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus) has become a significant public health concern that is now impacting post-acute communities across the US. Thankfully, no known cases of COVID-19 have been found at any of our partnered facilities at this time.

We have been closely monitoring both the news and the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (AMDA).

With those recommendations in mind, we are actively developing a dynamic COVID-19 Best Practices Training in our app to keep you up to date on safe COVID-19 prevention and treatment practices. We anticipate that this course will be available to IntelyPros as of Wednesday, March 11. This training will also be available to the general public later this month.

While we roll out this course, we will do our best to keep you updated on current best practices so that you can keep yourself and your patients safe.

We have outlined some key tips that you should keep in mind when working at any long-term care facility…

HOW COVID-19 SPREADS

 Based on what is currently known about COVID-19 and what is known about other coronaviruses, the spread is thought to occur mostly from person-to-person via respiratory droplets among close contacts.

Close contact can occur while caring for a patient, including:

  • being within approximately 6 feet of a patient with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time.
  • having direct contact with infectious secretions from a patient with COVID-19. Infectious secretions may include sputum, serum, blood, and respiratory droplets.

If close contact occurs while not wearing all recommended Personal Protection Equipment (PPE,) healthcare personnel may be at risk of infection.

HOW YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF

Stay informed.

Keep up to date with current guidelines. We will be sending out new information as we learn more about COVID-19, and will be launching our COVID-19 Best Practices Assessment to IntelyPros on March 11, 2020. But in the interim, we recommend the CDC as your go-to resource for all COVID-19 best practice information.

 

Practice and encourage proper hygiene and infection control.

The CDC recommends that you practice proper hand and respiratory hygiene, and encourage cough etiquette among residents, visitors, and colleagues. We also encourage looking into Infection Prevention Training, if you have not already done so.

 

Be prepared.

While no known cases of COVID-19 have been detected in any of our partnered facilities at this time, as a health care professional, you are on the front lines of caring for patients and have an increased risk for exposure. We recommend reading this article from the CDC in the event that COVID-19 does appear at your facility: What Healthcare Personnel Should Know About Caring for Patients with Confirmed or Possible COVID-19 Infection.

 

Be compliant.

While the above tips are commonly agreed-upon best practices, please be aware that each nursing facility may have its own COVID-19 contingent plans in place. Please be sure to comply with any facility-specific COVID-19 guidelines. You may also find that some facilities will monitor health care staff for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival. If a facility determines that you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, you may be sent home.

 

Don’t take a chance.

If you are currently experiencing or have experienced a fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath in the last 14 days, we strongly encourage you to not report to work. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please let the IntelyCare team know and refrain from picking up future shifts. Safety is our chief priority. If you call us before a shift and let us know you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, we will release you from the shift without penalty.

Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we anticipate that the CDC and AMDA will continue to update their recommendations, so we will be sure to share COVID-19 best practices with you as new recommendations emerge.

Does your facility need help with your staffing needs? Request a demo with a member of our sales team for a walk-through of our intelligent solution.

IntelyCare was created by nurses, for nurses. We’re here to take care of those who take care of everyone else; our staffing solution gives nurses the opportunity for a better, more flexible schedule to help reduce nurse stress. Apply today to join the future of nursing.

IntelyCare Announces $45 Million Series B Venture Round

The IntelyCare team is excited to share that we have just completed our Series B fundraising round of $45 million – the largest venture fundraising in the nursing technology space!

This new funding round comes on the heels of some of our major successes: 

  • We’ve doubled our revenue
  • We’ve filled more than 2 million shift hours since 2017 
  • More than 1 million shift hours filled in the last nine months alone,
  • And shift fill rates 3 times higher than the staffing industry average

This investment will empower us to keep striving to be the best for our facilities, our IntelyPros, and the patients they care for. 

We’re shaking up the healthcare staffing industry, one shift at a time. Check out the video below to learn more about our fundraising, our momentum, and our mission.

 

Does your facility need help with your staffing needs? Request a demo with a member of our sales team for a walk-through of our intelligent solution.

IntelyCare was created by nurses, for nurses. We’re here to take care of those who take care of everyone else; our staffing solution gives nurses the opportunity for a better, more flexible schedule to help reduce nurse stress. Apply today to join the future of nursing.

IntelyPro Spotlight Series: Jermaine Martin, LPN

IntelyCare Spotlights Ohio Licensed Practical Nurse, Jermaine Martin

Jermaine enjoys traveling when he’s not working for IntelyCare

We have a great team of IntelyPros across the US, and we enjoy highlighting the incredible work that they do.

Jermaine Martin is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) who is based out of Cleveland, Ohio. He has only been an IntelyPro for a few short weeks, but in his time working with us, Jermaine has demonstrated to us that he is not only a great IntelyPro because he works hard and shows up to shifts on time – he’s also a team player that cares deeply about the well-being of his patients.

An administrator at one of our partnered facilities reached out to us to specifically to sing Jermaine’s praises, and to tell us how thorough and compassionate he was with a patient. This is what nursing is all about. We enjoyed getting to know this incredible nurse in our brief conversation, and we think you will, too.

Hi Jermaine, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. To start, can you tell us what made you decide to become an LPN?

There were really two pivotal things that inspired me to become a nurse.

One was that it was pretty much preordained. My mother is a nurse, my grandmother is a nurse, and two of my sisters are nurses.

The other was when I was 14 years old. I was playing football and I fractured my leg. When I was in the hospital, my mother was the room with me, and she made me feel so much better. That’s when I knew I had what it took to be empathetic and to make a patient feel better. When you’re sick and hurting, you don’t want to talk to anyone – but nurses have the empathy to break down that wall.

That’s great! What do you love most about being a nurse?

I enjoy connecting with new people and helping them heal. I have a special affinity for geriatric patients in particular – they always have a story to tell, and they’re more than happy to share their wisdom with you.

How long have you been a nurse?

I have been a nurse for 8 years. Almost nine.

Congrats! That’s a long time. What do you love most about your nursing career?

What I love most about being a nurse is the patients and the confidence being a nurse gives me. I’m at peace when I’m at work caring for others. And I love to hear the stories of patients and the lives they’ve lived – there’s a lot of wisdom and stories worth hearing there.

What kind of work were you doing as a nurse before IntelyCare?

Most of my experience has been at long term care facilities. I also worked in quality assurance overseeing other STNAs and offering leadership and advice.

The only problem was that it was tough to balance work and my life outside of work. I felt like even on my day off, I never left. I was just constantly thinking about what I was going to go into the next day. There was one time that I was literally getting a massage on my day off and I couldn’t relax because I was so worried about work and what I’d be walking into the next day.

That’s tough. Work is hard enough – days off shouldn’t be hard, too. What do you like most about IntelyCare?

I love the flexibility. When I’m at home, I’m home, and I can enjoy my time with my wife. I also like that IntelyCare offers creative incentives – it shows me that you appreciate us and the work we’re doing.

I do like the rating system a lot. It’s motivating to climb the ranks, and I love it when I get to see I got a 5-star rating from a facility.

It’s also nice to walk into a facility and they see that I’m from IntelyCare, and just assume I am going to be a good nurse.

You’ve been a nurse for almost nine years now and must have some teachable moments. What advice do you have for someone just starting out as a nurse?

The best advice to give to a new nurse is to always ask questions. Always be ready to learn. Always volunteer for the toughest projects. And just get comfortable being uncomfortable.

You know you’re learning when you find yourself in those uncomfortable moments.

That’s great advice! Alright, one final question. At IntelyCare, we think it’s important to have a life outside of work. What do you like to do for fun?

My wife and I love to travel. We’re just recently married, so I like to take her on vacations, shopping, and short road trips. Our favorite recent vacation was to Montego Bay in Jamaica, where we got to ride horses, see waterfalls, everything. It was amazing.

Thanks, Jermaine!

IntelyCare provides you with the flexibility to choose when and where you work. Want to take control of your schedule? Apply today to start earning! 

This GivingTuesday, IntelyCare Supports the Long-Term Care Nursing Education Foundation

This GivingTuesday, we have decided to give back to a cause that is so near and dear to us – the Long-Term Care Nursing Education Foundation.

The LTC Nursing Education Foundation – which is the charitable affiliate of the American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination – positively impacts the lives of 1.4 million people living in nursing homes by providing educational scholarships and research grants for nurses committed to improving the quality of life and care for LTC residents.

 

What is GivingTuesday?

GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement that happens every year right after Cyber Monday.

GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

We think there’s no better way to kick off the season of giving than by giving back to those in need!

 

Why we give.

The long-term care setting has some of the highest instances of burnout among nursing professionals, due, in part, to the nationwide nursing shortage, which is only going to continue to worsen in the coming years with the nation’s aging population. 

Providing educational opportunities for nursing professionals can help them grow in their field, and encourage them to thrive in the long-term care setting. We hope that opportunities like the ones provided by the Long-Term Care Nursing Education Foundation can help drive more nursing professionals into the long-term care setting, improve the working environment, reduce nurse burnout, and ultimately, enable nursing professionals to provide the best care possible to their patients. 

We could continue to list out all the reasons why we support the Long-Term Care Education Foundation, but who better to tell you than the co-founders of IntelyCare?

Watch the short video below to hear co-founders Chris Caulfield, RN, NP-C, David Coppins, Ike Nnah, and Prince Nnah explain why this charity means so much to them.

 

 

Does your facility need help with your staffing needs? Request a demo with a member of our sales team for a walk-through of our intelligent solution.

IntelyCare was created by nurses, for nurses. We’re here to take care of those who take care of everyone else; our staffing solution gives nurses the opportunity for a better, more flexible schedule to help reduce nurse stress. Apply today to join the future of nursing.

The Future of Staffing: Four Key Takeaways from the SIA Healthcare Staffing Summit

How evolving the culture and fixing the superhuman mindset can improve the lives of nurses and their patients.

Nursing is consistently voted the nation’s most trusted profession – and yet, it can be one of the nation’s most ‘at-risk’ professions as well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing has the highest rate of nonfatal occupational injuries. Dr. Danielle Ofri, the author of a recent op-ed in the New York Times, blames the culture of self-sacrifice encouraged by the healthcare industry. She writes that despite the detrimental experiences thrown a healthcare provider’s way, “an overwhelming majority do the right thing for their patients, even at a high personal cost.” Ofri explains that the code of ethics healthcare workers keep drives them to out-stretch themselves, rather than to complain, or better yet, ask for help. Chris Caulfield, our co-founder, and Chief Nursing Officer, weighed in on his time working bedside. “Unsafe environments tend to be the norm – they happen on every shift. It should be unacceptable – but that’s the culture nurses come to accept.” In honor of National Safety Month, we’d like to shine a light on the dangers nursing professionals grapple with every shift – in the hopes that at most, the culture of self-sacrifice changes, and at the very least, nurses can be more mindful of their health as their care for the health of others.

Injury on the Job

Nurses who assist in lifting or re-positioning patients often endure repetitive back pain injuries. Caulfield noted that even when facilities have no-lift policies in place, nurses will be asked to forego policy in the interest of time. “As a male nurse, especially, I was asked to lift patients and heavy objects, even when it was unsafe to do so.” Needle sticks also are a regular threat to nurses – according to the CDC, an average of 385,000 sharps-related injuries occurs among healthcare workers. This puts nurses at-risk of several diseases, namely Hepatitis B, C, and HIV. Accidents do happen, but Chris posits that some of these injuries can be avoided. “In the past, I worked at facilities that had no-lift policies, and others that used safer, retractable needles. The only barrier for each of those is price. The price of time saved by rushing and lifting a patient, and the higher price of better, more-advanced needles.” In cases where the administration doesn’t spring for safer policies and safer equipment, nurses pay the price.

Violence against nurses

While healthcare workers make up only 9% of the workforce, studies indicate that there are nearly as many violent injuries in the healthcare industry as there are in all other industries combined. And the number of violent injuries will only continue to skyrocket as time has gone on; over the past decade, there has been a 110% spike in the rate of violent incidents reported against healthcare workers. Incidents are incredibly common for nurses who care for patients with dementia. 76% of nurses surveyed in one study noted that they had experienced physical or verbal abuse in the last 12 months. But it’s not something always reported, dealt with, or taken seriously. Some measures are being taken by individual facilities; hospitals will host self-defense classes or training exercises that walk nurses through specific violent scenarios, which is a start, but until there are nationwide safety standards, violence against nurses will be an inevitable reality.

Burnout

Ask any nurse, and they will tell you that stress is par for the course, caused by a stressful work environment in general, and exacerbated by inadequate staffing levels. In a 2016 study, 92% of nurses surveyed reported moderate to very high levels of stress. And that stress carries over into the rest of their lives. The same study also found that 78% of nurses reported sleeping less than 8 hours a night, 69% did not exercise regularly, and 22% of nurses’ relationship with alcohol would be characterized as binge drinking. This chronic stress and lack of self-care all contribute to nurse burnout – an occupational phenomenon the World Health Organization characterizes as “feelings of energy depletion,” “increased mental distance from one’s job,” and “reduced professional efficacy.” When nurses sacrifice their own well-being, it not only impacts their own health but their ability to provide the best care to the very patients they are aiming to protect. It can also be the catalyst for nurses leaving the field – which will only exacerbate the severe nurse staffing shortage. So – what’s the solution to an environment where injury, abuse, and burnout are the norm? For our part, IntelyCare is trying to improve the nursing experience. We allow nurses to choose their own schedule and take control of their lives. We offer a care team ready to advocate on their behalf, and we are a company co-founded by a nurse who understands what it’s like to be on the front lines of patient care. While we hope that our ability to fill the gaps in care will reduce stress on facility floors, we know that our efforts won’t even remotely come close to solving a pervasive, industry-wide issue. Associate professor Linsey Steege, who studies the health and safety of nursing professionals, sums up the “supernurse” phenomenon perfectly: “That need and culture to be super creates a stigma around asking for help. It creates a stigma around showing signs of weakness and it creates, in some ways, some internal cultures within nursing that you’re not a real nurse if you haven’t worked 12 hours without peeing or taking a break, or if you haven’t worked five shifts in a row.” Something has got to give – namely eradicating the mindset of self-sacrifice. This mindset that makes nurses so admirable is also the one that is their downfall. If nurses can start recognizing dangerous situations and abuse and advocate for themselves, that’s a great place to start. But ultimately, we also need a shift in the nursing culture. As healthcare continues to evolve as a result of technological innovation and government policy, let’s hope that these shifts are made not only in the interest of saving money, simplifying and expediting administrative processes, or winning awards, but also a shift in culture in the interest of the people on the front lines taking care of us and the ones we love.   IntelyCare was created by nurses, for nurses. We’re here to take care of those who take care of everyone else; our staffing solution gives nurses the opportunity for a better, more flexible schedule to help reduce nurse stress. At IntelyCare, we’re driven to offer nurses and CNAs healthcare’s best working experience. Apply today.