COVID help line, using step down units and more
COVID help line, using step down units and more
Idaho Hospital Association Logo

COVID-19 Report to Members ~ August 10, 2020

Reports are sent on Mondays and Thursdays, unless there's breaking news.
Link to help line

COVID Help Now Line open

IdahoSTRONG is here to provide you with resources through the COVID-19 Help Now Line.
To access the COVID Help Now Line, call or text (986) 867-1073 or call toll free (866) 947-5186 to speak to a representative. COVID Help Now Line is staffed from 8am to 8pm Mountain Time, 7 days a week. Callers may also leave a message during off hours and receive a return call the following day. Responders do not classify, label, or diagnose people and no records or case files are kept. We are here to listen, and here to help. Let’s keep #IdahoSTRONG.

Reimbursement & Policy

Cyber alert: spoofing SBA loan site via phishing emails

Today, ASPR – Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response – sent out a notification of an unknown malicious cyber actor who is spoofing the Small Business Administration (SBA) COVID-19 loan relief webpage via phishing emails. These emails include a malicious link to the spoofed SBA website that the cyber actor is using for malicious re-directs and credential stealing. The phishing email contains:
  • a subject line - SBA Application – Review and Proceed
  • a sender marked as disastercustomerservice@sba[.]gov
  • text in the email body urging the recipient to click on a hyperlink to address:
  • a domain which resolves to IP address: 162.214.104[.]246
Read the full alert for additional technical details and mitigation strategies.

Resources & Equipment

CDC updates return to work criteria for healthcare workers

On August 10, the CDC updated the Criteria for Return to Work for Healthcare Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection (Interim Guidance) in light of accumulating evidence that supports using a symptom-based strategy to ending isolation and precautions for persons with COVID-19. These guidelines were designed for occupational health programs and public health officials making decisions about return to work for healthcare personnel with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, or who have suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection but were never tested.
This most recent update helps guidelines align more closely with the decision memo, and includes the following major changes:
  • For healthcare personnel with severe to critical COVID-19 or who are severely immunocompromised, the recommended duration for work exclusion was changed to at least 10 days and up to 20 days after symptom onset. An added example applying disease severity in determining duration before the return to work can be found here
  • Recommendation to consider consultation with infection control experts.
  • Added hematopoietic stem cell or solid organ transplant to severely immunocompromised conditions.
Similar to prior guidelines updates, a test-based strategy is still not recommended (with some exceptions) because this results in excluding healthcare personnel from work who are, in most cases, no longer infectious.
CDC guidelines emphasize that return-to-work decisions should be made in the context of local circumstances.

Pandemic logistics ~ utilizing step-down vs expanding ICU

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc, hospitals are forced to create logistical solutions to manage during this dynamically changing time. In a recently published manuscript from the International Journal for Quality in Health Care, experts found that creating a step-down unit versus expanding their existing ICU assisted with meeting both hospital and patient needs during this pandemic.
According to the manuscript, “We have presented the effects of SDU (step-down unit) creation as a possible solution, taking lessons learned from MCIs, to balance the ratio between inflow and outflow of ICU patients. SDUs played an important role in ICU resistance, allowing supernumerary admissions without compromising the safety and quality of care.” 

Virtual Meetings, Education & Updates

Webinar - Infection Prevention

IHA has teamed up with the accrediting organization DNV-GL to provide pandemic guidance. The team is hosting a free COVID-19 Infection Prevention webinar, which will focus on patient safety, infection prevention considerations, leveraging resources during a crisis and much more. The purpose of the webinar is to analyze and address gaps in processes to ensure organizations are proactive in providing safe care to patients. 
COVID-19 Infection Prevention webinar
Monday, August 24 ~ 9a – 10:30a MTN / 8a – 9:30a PAC
Click to get our COVID-19 Updates
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