NORCAL Group insureds and medical professionals at-large have a critical role in containing the spread of COVID-19 infection. An important step is accessing reputable, regularly updated, accurate, and evidence-based information. This webpage provides links to information that can support the protection of both patients and healthcare personnel.
Information about the extent of confirmed and active COVID-19 cases globally and nationally can quickly be viewed at Johns Hopkins: COVID-19 Global Cases tracking.
Physician and Staff Resources
According to the CDC, patients should receive treatment consistent with the standard of care regardless of suspected infection with COVID-19. However, it is important to provide treatment in a manner that minimizes the risk of exposure to yourself and your patients. As the number of infections in your area fluctuates, strategies may change. Regularly check with your state and local public health authorities.
The CDC's Information for Healthcare Professionals page collects numerous links to various guidances specific to healthcare providers, including the following:
- CDC: Clinical COVID-19 FAQs
- CDC: Interim Clinical Guidance for Management of Patients with Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- CDC: Clinician Call Center
- CDC: Phone Advice Line Tool for Possible COVID-19 Patients
- CDC: Using Telehealth to Expand Access to Essential Health Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- CDC: Overview of Testing for SARS-CoV-2
- CDC: Interim Guidelines for Collecting, Handling, and Testing Clinical Specimens from Persons for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- CDC: Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) COVID-19 Conference Calls/Webinars
Healthcare Operations: Advice for Leadership and Administrators
Healthcare entities and facilities should have policies and procedures in place to protect patients and healthcare workers. Leadership, managers and administrators should be accessing reliable, up-to-date information; for example, on the CDC and health department websites. Encourage physicians and staff to increase their knowledge of COVID-19 in general and specific issues such as COVID-19 infection control strategies, and how your entity will manage a potential surge of patients.
New policies and protocols may be necessary (and if recently put in place, updated as the situation changes) to provide direction on topics such as: patient telephone triage, telemedicine, proper use of personal protection equipment, patient isolation, management of potential shortages of medical supplies, informed consent, healthcare workforce wellness, and employee sick leave.
Healthcare entities should also assess potential workplace exposure to COVID-19; evaluate the risk of exposure; and select, implement, and ensure that workers use controls to prevent exposure. Control measures may include a combination of engineering and administrative controls, safe work practices, and PPE.
Healthcare Operations Resources
Preparation and Response
The CDC's Information for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19) page collects numerous links to various guidance webpages specific to healthcare operations, including the following:
- CDC: Ten Ways Healthcare Systems Can Operate Effectively during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- CDC: COVID-19 Surge Tool
- CDC: Framework for Healthcare Systems Providing Non-COVID-19 Clinical Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- CDC: Criteria for Return to Work for Healthcare Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection (Interim Guidance)
Healthcare Workforce Infection Control Resources
Provide up-to-date, factual information on the virus to the patient and their close contacts, including how to follow infection-control practices at home, such as in-home isolation, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, waste disposal, and the use of face masks. Patients and their families should be encouraged to access information about COVID-19 through reputable sources, not social media.