Bluestone’s response to COVID-19
Updated 10/24/20 (may change frequently)
The world of medicine has changed rapidly since the pandemic began and Bluestone has responded accordingly. Bluestone is on the frontlines fighting to protect the most vulnerable patients in our communities: the older and disabled populations. We moved quickly to introduce telehealth capabilities for all our primary care teams in an effort to minimize exposure for our patients. Bluestone is committed to providing safe, effective care and closely follows state and national guidelines.
What Bluestone is doing?
Bluestone follows the CDC and state department protocols for testing and reporting. Bluestone has a designated Clean Team and Swab Team that assists with delivering testing supplies and assisting with testing if requested by communities. These team members have been trained in infection control and take all steps necessary to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
Bluestone leaders recognized in March 2020 that COVID-19 within assisted living communities would likely be fueled by staff coming in and out of the communities. Quickly partnering with local laboratories and an FDA-certified medical laboratory testing facility, we implemented a Community Systemic Testing (CST) Program. With the program, Bluestone was able to go beyond the prescribed symptomatic testing at the time, and test all patients and staff to help identify asymptomatic carriers – and help stop the spread of COVID-19 within these settings.
Bluestone has contracted with state health departments and counties to provide testing for communities and populations beyond our primary care buildings.
A significant and lasting development in Bluestone’s model of care due to COVID was the addition of telehealth for regular follow-up visits and urgent care. Patients not requiring a face-to-face visit are monitored, evaluated, and treated through telehealth visits. In addition, Bluestone is offering Urgent Care Telehealth to new patients. Patients are not required to enroll in Bluestone’s primary care practice to receive Urgent Care services.
- Our Physicians and Advanced Practice Providers are currently available in all our Assisted Living and Group Home communities to provide telehealth visits, arranged by community staff or Bluestone support staff onsite with the patient.
- Link to Telehealth Consent: Consent
Social Distancing & Healthcare Workers
During this time, our providers and staff continue taking steps to keep our patients and ourselves safe. Among those are:
- Bluestone is limiting the contact of our Physicians and Advanced Practice Providers with other healthcare workers in medical and community settings to minimize potential exposure.
- No medical personnel with 1) medical symptoms or 2) direct exposure to confirmed COVID-19 cases will enter buildings or have contact with other staff members.
- Bluestone will strictly monitor our staff’s contacts and health status to assure the lowest possible risk to our patients, including routine testing of our staff.
- Self-quarantining if necessary
- Restricting travel
- Introducing as few Bluestone staff to patients as possible
- Treating using telehealth resources, whenever possible, instead of face-to-face
- Avoiding the use of unnecessary equipment and procedures
- When an acute visit is needed we will see patients in their own rooms, instead of in common areas
State Health Departments