COVID 19 Response.

Wound Innovations Response to COVID 19

Wound Innovations, like all businesses around the world, are navigating uncharted territory as we deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. In times of great uncertainty, we want to communicate that as an organisation, we monitor and receive updates from the Australian Department of Health and relevant State Departments around recommended actions to ensure that we take appropriate precautionary measures.  These are in addition to our existing policies and protocols on infectious diseases. The health and safety of our employees, customers, and communities are our primary priority and we will take all necessary precautions to protect them from COVID-19.

Here are the measures we are taking to safely manage through this fluid situation while continuing to serve our customers effectively.

With our business operating as expected, we have taken the following steps to protect the health and wellbeing of our employees, partners, and local communities:

  • We continue to monitor recommendations from the World Health Organisation, the Australian Government Department of Health, and relevant State Government Departments so we remain up-to-date on the latest information and safety protocols.
  • Interstate work-related travel and event attendance is conducted according to updates from the Australian Department of Health and relevant State Departments.
  • If any of our staff have travelled overseas or have family that have recently returned from overseas they will be required to quarantine as per current government requirements and/or advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • We are actively monitoring clients and team members for signs and symptoms
  • If it is not feasible for our clinician to visit your organisation in person, we can deliver all education, wound mentoring and wound consultations via video conferencing and telehealth.
  • Our telehealth and video conferencing sessions can be accessed by your staff from their homes if they are unable to attend their workplace.
  • Any of our team members that has been in contact with a diagnosed client or show any symptoms of COVID-19 will be advised to be tested and self-quarantine for 14 days.

As an organisation we understand that the elderly are of the utmost concern and that your organisation may have advised all RACF’s to limit the visitors in and out of the building. If this is the case we would like to offer our telehealth service for all residents that need wound care until such a time as COVID-19 is under control.

Wound Innovations telehealth service is available via Zoom or Facetime on any computer, Iphone, Ipad or smart device and our friendly team are more than happy to help you with the initial set up and testing to make sure that the Skype system works at your facility.

If you have any questions regarding the above or need assistance, our support teams are available during their standard hours and can be contacted at 1300 224 034 or [email protected].

Keeping our clients and staff safe

Here at Wound Innovations we are all about keeping our clients in both Aged Care facilities and the community and our staff safe. We are asking all our clients to work with us to help keep everyone safe, by telling us if:

  • You or someone in your aged care facility or home have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, or who thinks that they might have COVID-19 in the past 14 days
  • You have become unwell and think this could be related to being in contact with someone who has COVID-19, or thinks that they might have COVID-19
  • You have recently been overseas or interstate in a hot spot area and are required to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • You or your resident is sick and unwell with flu like symptoms, fever, coughing, sore throat or shortness of breathe and may require a COVID-19 test

If this is the case and you have an appointment scheduled for you or your resident please let us know within 24 hours of the scheduled appointment time by calling our friendly Administration team on 1300 224 034 or email [email protected] to switch this appointment to telehealth or to another suitable day.

For the most up to date COVID information please refer to the Australian Government Department of Health website, contact the National Coronavirus helpline on 1800 020 080 or download the Coronavirus Australia APP. The Website and App allows you to check symptoms and get notified when urgent information and updates are published by the Australian Government.

Wound Innovations COVID-19 Clinical Practice Guidelines

Background

In March 2020, the Wound Innovations Clinical Governance Committee moved to reduce face to face consultations, in favour of telehealth consultations. This was done in response to restrictions placed on travel and social distancing by the Australian government, due to the COVID-19 global pandemic in order to reduce the spread of the virus. As restrictions start to be eased, the Clinical Governance Committee agrees that, where clinically required, Wound Innovations clinicians will be permitted to undertake face to face consultations once again. The committee have developed the following guidelines in relation to face to face consultations which are to be followed by all Wound Innovations staff. Wound Innovations clinicians encounter some of the more vulnerable members of our community and the global pandemic is predicted to be ongoing for some time. These guidelines will help to mitigate the risk of transmitting the virus to patients and protect Wound Innovations staff and the wider community.

Who is most at risk of COVID-19?

  • COVID-19 can impact anyone, and most people will have mild symptoms only. Individuals most at risk of serious illness and death include:
    • the over 70’s.
    • 65+ (50+ in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) with a chronic medical condition.
    • those with a compromised immune system.

Who will receive a face to face consultation?

The need for Wound Innovations to undertake a face to face consultation will be assessed on a case by case basis. To reduce the risk associated with face to face consultations telehealth consultations should be undertaken where possible.

What is the process for Wound Innovations when scheduling face to face consultation?

When booking face to face consultations efforts should be made to reduce the number of locations visited in one day. Prior to the booking of a face to face consultation it should be confirmed with the RACF, community service provider or individual that they are happy for a Wound Innovations staff member to visit their location.

At this time, it should also be confirmed that this location has no cases of COVID-19 and that the patient/resident has no cold/flu symptoms. If symptoms/COVID-19 diagnosis is confirmed, the Wound Innovations clinician will be asked to review the patients’ case file to identify if a telehealth consultation is more appropriate.

Prior to undertaking face to face consultations:

Wound Innovations clinicians to provide evidence of a recent influenza vaccination.

Wound Innovations clinicians to have the COVIDSafe app installed and active on the mobile phone they carry when attending face to face appointments.

All Wound Innovations clinicians are to complete the following courses and forward their completion certificates to the Wound Innovations General Manager:

Complete:

  • Infection Control Training – COVID 19
  • COVID 19 Aged Care Module 5 – PPE

What steps are to be taken when undertaking clinical examinations and procedures?

During relevant restrictions such as lockdown, social distancing must be observed at all times when attending face to face appointments.

Where contact is clinically necessary, standard contact precautions for infection control should be followed.

Reduce exposure time to individual and their environment to a minimum.

When using equipment, the following precautions must be taken:

  • Only minimal equipment should be taken into home/facility for example leave kit bags in the car.
  • Wound Innovations documentation is to be completed off-site to reduce exposure.
  • Only use single use or wipeable reusable equipment.
  • Prior to leaving the location use antibacterial wipes to clean all reusable equipment. *

What action should be taken when presented with a patient with respiratory symptoms?

The Wound Innovations clinician is to:

  • consider the need for a face to face consultation.
  • follow the local infection control guidelines with regards the use of PPE.
  • report concerns to the facilities management and Wound Innovations General Manager.
  • self-isolate for 14 days and arrange to be tested if you were in close contact with a patient who is confirmed to have COVID-19 and you were not wearing PPE.

What actions should be taken if a Wound Innovations clinician presents with any respiratory symptoms i.e. cold/flu symptoms?

The clinician should:

  • contact the Wound Innovations General Manager prior to attending any face to face consultation.
  • arrange a COVID-19 test as soon as possible.
  • self-isolate until the COVID-19 test results are returned.
  • only return to face to face duties once these symptoms have subsided and you have been cleared of COVID-19.
  • if the COVID-19 test is returned positive:
    • follow local health service guidance.
    • report this result to the Wound Innovations General Manager.

If a Wound Innovations clinician presents with respiratory symptoms the Wound Innovations General Manager should:

  • rearrange all face to face consultations.
  • alert any recently visited residential aged care facilities, so that appropriate action can be taken.

Reference list:

Australian Government Department of Health. Working arrangements for the health and aged care workforce during COVID-19. Accessed on the 15/05/2020 via:

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-the-health-and-aged-care-sector/working-arrangements-for-the-health-and-aged-care-workforce-during-covid-19

Safe Work Australia. Work Place Checklists – COVID-19. Accessed on the 15/05/2020 via: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/collection/workplace-checklists-covid-19

Australian Government Department of Health. What you need to know about coronavirus (COVID-19). Accessed on the 15/05/2020 via: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/what-you-need-to-know-about-coronavirus-covid-19

Further reading:

* visit the following link for more information around protecting yourself when cleaning equipment: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-the-health-and-aged-care-sector/hygiene-and-cleaning-for-the-health-workforce-during-covid-19#protect-yourself-when-cleaning-or-disinfecting

What you need to know about coronavirus (COVID-19) – https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/what-you-need-to-know-about-coronavirus-covid-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information on the use of surgical masks – https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-information-on-the-use-of-surgical-masks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert – https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society, (2020), Recommendations for Wound Assessment & Photo Documentation in Isolation, https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.wocn.org/resource/resmgr/docs/Recommendations_for_Isolatio.pdf