COVID Care Management Team helping people navigate COVID-19 questions
As COVID-19 continues to spread, and more people are being tested, the Augusta Health COVID Care Management Team is making sure people have the help they need.
The team typically works with patients who need extra assistance transitioning from the hospital to home. After Augusta Health initiated their incident command structure, they identified the need to have someone available to answer questions after people have been tested, since it took time for results to come back.
"We're able to be a link and a liaison for them throughout this journey," Kim Galloway, lead case manager for the COVID Care Management team, said.
The journey starts with getting tested for COVID-19, either at the respiratory assessment center or Augusta Health. After the testing, the care team steps in.
"We receive a list of all patients who have been tested on the previous day for follow-up, and are in pending status," Mary Arrowood, director of operations for Augusta Care Partners, said.
The team also receives a list of people who have tested positive, and they follow up with everyone to check in.
"We're not just talking clinical needs, although we are a team of nurses," Arrowood said. "We're also talking about you know, this is a time of social isolation, so can we get to the grocery store, do we have people to help us at home if we need that."
The care team said they call people every three days until they receive their results. However, they're also available for support.
"Someone they can reach out to to see are their results back, what do I do next, I have a question, it's more of a personal contact," Galloway said.
It's not just moral support being offered. The care team also helps people understand the guidance they get when they're sent home after testing, since most people will be sent home.
"Making sure they understand how they're to self-isolate at home, make sure they have their medication, understand how to take those, as well as if they need physician follow-up."
The care team said a physician will call to tell a person if they are positive or not. If a person is positive, they'll get another call from the care team the next day, and can still be available for help as needed.
"Reinforce where their needs may be, their isolation, any follow-up they need, and what to do if their symptoms get worse," Galloway said.
Both Arrowood and Galloway said it's important people feel they have someone they can contact with any questions.
"We want to provide any kind of touchpoint or link with the health system that we can so that people feel a little more secure in their isolation," Arrowood said.
Since the team began work at the beginning of April, Arrowood said they've assisted more than 165 people.