SIDEBAR: Vendors Also Respond to Pandemic

New services for HMEBs emerge in the wake of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Note: This is a sidebar to our "Pandemic!" feature story.

Of course manufacturers and service providers in the industry are stakeholders as well, and they too have been contributing efforts to help HME providers deal with the COVID-19 PHE. Here are some of the actions taken by companies serving HME providers:

Glooko Offers Free Remote Diabetes Care During COVID-19

To provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, Glooko (glooko.com) began providing a no-charge remote-care solution that delivers secure, live patient-to-clinician connectivity.

Glooko provides various digital health and workflow tools to improve diabetes care and communicate and monitor diabetes patients in more than 20 countries.

The company made the move to help reduce in-person contact as part of the global need to curtail the spread of COVID-19. This is especially important for patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, as they appear to be at a higher risk of contracting the virus.

“For certain appointments, healthcare professionals may determine that the patient and their care team would be best served by a remote review of the patient’s personal diabetes data and a corresponding telehealth consult, reserving in-office visits only for those appointments where a patient’s medical status truly requires in-person treatment,” a statement from the company read.

BOC Offers Remote-Proctored Testing

Accrediting organization Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC; bocusa.org) unveiled a remote-proctored testing option to help HME professionals complete certification exams while maintaining social distancing during the PHE.

BOC stated it had planned to add remote-proctored testing as an option later in 2020, but since the public health emergency forced many testing centers to temporarily close, the accrediting organization and its exam delivery partner, PSI, worked to fast-track the service.

“We want the DMEPOS community to know that completing career development goals is possible, even in our ‘new normal,’” said BOC’s Credentialing Director Matthew Gruskin, MBA, BOCO, BOCPD. “With this option for the Certified Orthotic Fitter (COF), Certified Mastectomy Fitter (CMF) and Certified Durable Medical Equipment Specialist (CDME) exams, certification candidates can advance their careers in a COVIDsensitive way and earn credentials that support them in their goal of quality patient care.”

WellSky and Qlik Launch COVID-19 Heat Map

HME software company WellSky (wellsky.com) and data analytics firm Qlik have launched the WellSky COVID-19 Tracker, a new COVID-19 heat map feature that aims to help providers keep their staff and patients safe.

Knowing that healthcare workers are facing shortages of resources such as personal protective equipment (PPE), WellSky is giving its clients free access to the WellSky-Qlik heat map (info.wellsky.com/wellsky-qlik-covid19-tracker.html) to track the virus’s spread.

Leveraging data analytics technology donated by Qlik, providers can use the WellSky-Qlik heat map to track current outbreak hot spots, anticipate locations with increasing infection rates, and distribute valuable PPE resources based on locations where clinical staff need it most.

The heat map uses clinical staff zip code data to compare staff locations against confirmed COVID-19 cases across the United States. By layering and blending this data, home-based care providers can see the PPE supply chain and where staff might need increased access to resources such as medical face masks, face shields, gloves, and gowns. This lets homecare providers better manage their PPE supply.

“Traditionally, home health has not been an industry that previously used a lot of N95 masks and related protective supplies. But now we need quadruple the amount of the PPE that we needed before,” said Christina Smith, RN, BSN, MSN, corporate staff development coordinator for Medical Services of America’s home health and hospice teams. “With technology that tells us which geographic areas have outbreaks and whether our staff is located in those areas, we can make better PPE allocation decisions.”

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of HME Business.

Comments

Add your Comment

Your Name:(optional)
Your Email:(optional)
Your Location:(optional)
Comment:
Please type the letters/numbers you see above.
HME Business Podcast