Access to Support for Persons with Disabilities in Health Care Settings – During MD State of Emergency (COVID-19)

Access to Support for Persons with Disabilities in Health Care Settings
Purpose:

To comply with the notice issued by the Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland Department of Disabilities (September 24, 2020), Edenton provides the following policy and procedure for patients during the State of Emergency declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Policy: This policy provides guidance and procedures regarding the designation of a support person(s), the process for the support person to assist a patient and when the support
person can accompany, visit and stay with the patient during appointments to health care providers. This policy applies to those who reside at Edenton in independent living, assisted
living and who utilize Edenton home care (on and off campus).

Definitions:
Disability – The term “disability” means, with respect to an individual—
(A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual;
(B) a record of such an impairment; or
(C) being regarded as having such an impairment
Patient – For this policy, the word patient will refer to an Edenton Resident and/or home
care client.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Required PPE will always be worn by the patient and support person. At a minimum, a face covering or approved mask will be worn by the patient (if deemed they are physically able to do so and it does not cause distress) and support person when in contact with one another.

Additional items of PPE will be required should the patient be under observation, have symptoms of COVID-19 or other communicable disease or have confirmed COVID-19 or other
communicable disease.

Support Person – A support person may be a family member, personal care assistant, similar disability service provider, or other individual knowledgeable about the management or
care of the patient who is authorized to assist the patient in making decisions. A patient may designate up to two support persons during their stay, but only one may be present at any given time.

Procedure
1. Edenton will make available as well as post the “Notice – Access to Support for Patients with Disabilities in Health Care Settings” in an area accessible to all patients.
2. A patient, or legal representative, may designate a support person to accompany, visit and/or stay with a patient with a disability during their visit to health care providers either in person or thru telemedicine/virtual visits.
3. Once Edenton is notified (verbally or in writing) by a patient or legal representative that at support person is requested, this information will be documented, and contact information collected and recorded in the patient’s record.
4. The masked support person will meet all required COVID-19 screening requirements upon arrival, to be physically present with the patient.

a. Support person will wear the appropriate mask or face covering as determined by the facility related to the status of the Patient and their COVID-19 symptoms or diagnosis. A face shield is not permitted as the only face covering. A mask or face covering is always required.
b. A patient, regardless of diagnosis or symptoms of COVID-19 are permitted to have access (in person or by telephone, electronic, or virtual means) to a support person.
c. Individuals with COVID-19 symptoms will not be permitted to serve as an in- person support person.
d. Support person must wear the appropriate PPE, receive instruction on how to utilize and conserve PPE. In some cases, certain PPE items may need to be provided by the facility based upon the patient’s COVID-19 symptoms and diagnosis.
e. Support person will conform with PPE procedures or be asked to leave if in the physical presence of the patient or others.
5. The support person will be notified when a health care provider appointment is made so that they can advise whether they will attend in person.
6. Only one support person may be present at any given time for the patient. This includes during accompaniment with the patient and during the medical appointment.
7. When Edenton is providing transportation for the patient to a health care provider appointment off campus, the support person will confirm if they plan on accompanying
the patient in person. Edenton will need to arrange that only that patient and support person is in the vehicle with the driver at time of transport.
a. The patient’s health care provider for an off-campus appointment, will need to provide their policy and procedure to the patient and support person for such visits.
8. When the health care provider appointment is held on Edenton’s campus, the support person must notify the nurse if they plan to attend in person or by telephone or
electronic means. The nurse coordinating the medical appointment will ensure that the patient and support person are following protocols for wearing of PPE and be physical
distancing from others while in waiting area.
9. If the support person is not able to attend an appointment held at Edenton, an electronic or virtual mode of presence will be offered to the patient and support person.
This can include the health care provider’s secure mobile device application, telephone, computer, or electronic device to include facetime, zoom, skype or offered means
available from Edenton.
10. Patients or support persons who experience a problem with this policy should contact the Administrator of Edenton.

 

for a printable version click on the link below

Access to Support for Persons with Disabilities in Health Care Settings

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