Regulators Give Centers for Living and Rehabilitation High Marks for Infection Prevention

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BENNINGTON, Vt. — The Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, has earned deficiency-free status, the highest given, on a survey meant to determine ability to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and other infections to those living, recovering, and working within long-term care facilities.

"CLR has always taken pride in its infection-prevention measures," said Suzanne Anair, the facility’s administrator. "When COVID-19 broke on the scene, our staff was ready to do what it took to protect patients, residents, and themselves. They have done a tremendous job."

On March 20, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, healthcare’s largest payer and most rigorous regulating body, declared that they would postpone normal survey activities in order to complete targeted infection-control surveys. According to the announcement, the purpose of the new surveys was to ensure "providers are implementing actions to protect the health and safety of individuals to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic." CLR's infection-focused survey was on April 9, 2020.

Infection-control measures are particularly important within long-term care settings, where shared living spaces among the vulnerable elderly population have led to high rates of infection and death. 

CLR has cared for COVID patients and non-COVID patients throughout the pandemic. Leaders are proud to report that not a single known transmission of the virus has occurred at the facility.

"Considering that this is a contagious virus and our patients and residents are among the most vulnerable, we are grateful that we started to protect our building early by following CDC guidelines," said Dr. Jim Poole, CLR's medical director. "It is working."

One measure was restricting visitors to those providing medical care only.

"While it is very difficult for residents and their families, restricting visitors is an important part of the infection-prevention plan," Anair said.

Patients with cough or shortness of breath or any two of the following—fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell—should contact their primary care provider or the COVID-19 Informational Hotline at 802-440-8844 before arriving to either their provider’s office or the hospital.


Tags: COVID-19,   SVMC,   


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Southwestern Vermont Health Care Launches Virtual Urgent Care

BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southwestern Vermont Health Care has launched a virtual urgent care platform called CAREqd to improve access to medical care. 

In medical terminology, "qd" is shorthand for "every day." Through CAREqd the community can receive urgent care at any time of day, every day. CAREqd can be accessed through a live, secure video connection on its website or a mobile app for smartphones.

"Our mission of exceptional care drives us to provide our community with increased access and convenience," said Dr. Trey Dobson, the medical center’s chief medical officer. "The CAREqd virtual urgent care platform is a way to extend the use of technology to make high-quality care even easier for patients."

The CAREqd platform provides patients access to urgent care around the clock every day of the year, including weekends and holidays. Patients can access urgent care from anywhere by phone or from an internet-enabled device, whether they are at home, at work or traveling. The mobile app makes it quick and easy to access a provider from a smartphone or tablet.

CAREqd is secure, confidential and easy to use. Patients create a free account online or via the mobile app and fill out their brief medical history. There is no cost to activate the account. When they need it, patients can request a video or phone visit at a time that fits their schedule or see a provider right away. 

The CAREqd providers can diagnose, recommend treatment and prescribe medication for a wide range of conditions, including allergies, cough, diarrhea, earache, fever, flu, insect bites and stings, nausea, pink eye, rash, respiratory problems, and more.

SVMC has partnered with MDLive, a national virtual urgent care system, to develop CAREqd. Partnering with MDLive also brings a broad network of more than 1,000 providers, including physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. When patients use CAREqd they can choose between an SVMC/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam provider or an MDLive provider that has particular expertise and experience in diagnosing and treating urgent care conditions over the phone and using video.

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