Delaware Division of Public Health has a limited number of tests, as such, they prioritize patients with known exposure, patients who are hospitalized and other high priority situations.
- Commercial labs are offering testing (nasopharyngeal and/or oropharyngeal swabs must be collected in office).
- Please do not send patients to the emergency department unless they require emergent care.
- When considering sending a patient to the emergency department, call ahead and advise the patient to wear a mask.
For safety reasons, patients must be tested for COVID-19 three days prior to their procedure at ChristianaCare. Here are directions on how they get tested for COVID-19 before their procedure.
CareVio, ChristianaCare’s care management program, monitors patients virtually, tracks COVID-19 symptoms and monitors escalating symptoms to reduce disease transmission and hospital admission/readmissions.
If your vulnerable or underserved patients do not have access to a phone and broadband internet service, the program will loan, at no charge, a cellphone and establish broadband internet service for your patients to access our CareVio telehealth monitoring. There are many additional remote monitoring tools that will be given, as needed, to engage with and to track participant’s health in their homes. The program also offers on-site telehealth services at community health centers in communities with high COVID-19 disease burden and challenges accessing virtual health services.
ChristianaCare received a $714,000 grant from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to support telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic. ChristianaCare will use the grant to support its COVID-19 Telemedicine Program. Access to broadband telehealth services enables COVID-19 patients to safely remain at home in isolation instead of presenting to hospital facilities for further evaluation and care.
For more information, call 1-302-428-2100.
At ChristianaCare, we understand that healthcare is an extremely personal matter that requires ongoing coordination between patients and their providers. We also understand that in times like this, when caregivers are fighting outbreaks, juggling clinical obligations while protecting patient privacy can be difficult. Nonetheless, prioritizing patients’ privacy rights is still an essential facet of their health care experience. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Protected Health Information (PHI) can be used and disclosed for treatment, payment, and healthcare operations without the patient’s consent. Also, HIPAA permits healthcare providers to use and disclose PHI for public health and safety purposes. However, all uses and disclosures must comply with the HIPAA Minimum Necessary requirement.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) bulletin details (February 3. 2020) how to handle patient privacy during this outbreak, as well as other uses and disclosures related to HIPAA.
- How do we test for COVID-19?
Being a novel, or new, virus there were no existing assays to run prior to 2020. Recently, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) have issued emergency use authorization for a number of tests to increase testing capacity across the country. Currently Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp and Mayo Clinic Laboratories have approved tests, though testing requirements vary. All tests currently look for genetic material of the virus in order to determine positive or negative results.
- Where and how can physicians send patients for testing?
ChristianaCare has testing for COVID-19 at our Patient Referral Center. Delaware Division of Public Health has a limited number of tests, as such, they prioritize patients with known exposure, patients who are hospitalized and other high priority situations. Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp both have test codes as well. All of these tests require swabs from the nose and/or mouth and are test specific. Ask your lab for details.
- What should I do if I think someone has a respiratory illness like COVID-19?
For any patient with influenza like illness, the patient wear a mask and provider wear facemask, and the provider should wear a facemask and eye protection. In addition, the provider should practive good hand hygiene before and after contact. That will help prevent the spread of disease.
- Can I reuse the N95 mask and face shield if I am the only one using it?
PPE is one of the many ways we prevent the spread of infection in addition to hand hygiene, covering your cough, and not touching your face. If you care for a patient with COVID-19 symptoms in the outpatient office, then the PPE is contaminated and you should change into new PPE before the next patient.
- Should I purchase a number of scrubs to avoid contamination of my street clothes?
- What is the best way to disinfect/wash whatever clothing I wear under the disposable gown?
Isolation gowns are designed to prevent infectious material from reaching your clothes. That is the case whether you are wearing scrubs or street clothes. Routine laundering of clothes is recommended.
- Do I need to wear disposable “booties” on my shoes?
Booties are often looked to by caregivers and providers as one way to prevent the spread of infection. In truth, the booties are designed to prevent the blood and bodily fluids from contaminating uncleanable surfaces of clinician footwear. In this case, booties are not appropriate protective equipment against the coronavirus COVID-19.
- What other protective equipment do I need to wear?
Personal protective equipment recommended by the World Health Organization to use when caring for suspected or confirmed coronavirus COVID-19 cases include:
- eye protection.
This is a contact and droplet transmission-based precaution similar to other respiratory viruses like influenza.
- What is the best way to disinfect equipment that I will need to use (i.e. stethoscope, otoscope, etc)?
The virus is not hearty in the environment and on equipment, but the equipment must still be disinfected in order to be safe. Hospital grade disinfectants like PDI Sani Wipe (purple top canister) are effective at killing COVID-19.