In The News

American Nurses Foundation Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses

March 27, 2020

The American Nurses Foundation is supporting nurses on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. We have launched a national fund for the public to address the emerging needs identified by the American Nurses Association to respond to the health threat to nurses posed by the virus. These include: 

  • Providing direct assistance to nurses in partnership with Nurse's House and other organizations
  • Ensuring nurses have access to the latest science-based information 
  • Driving the national advocacy focused on nurse and patients 
  • Aiding nurses' mental health and well-being in this unprecedented and long-term stressful environment.  

Seed funding in the amount of $1 million has been committed by Johnson & Johnson and they will be launching a campaign to drive Text to Give contributions. This effort is unfolding in terms of needs and contributions and we will keep you posted.  We will also share opportunities to be a part of shaping the programs we put in place and making sure monies get to nurses all across the country. 

 

ANA Issues Crisis Standards of Care Guidelines

March 27, 2020

ANA is issuing guidance related to crisis standards of care.  In a pandemic, nurses can find themselves operating in environments demanding a balance between time-limited crisis standards of care and longstanding professional standards of care.  This guidance applies to decisions about care made during extreme circumstances such as those resulting from emergencies, disasters or pandemics like COVID-19. 

ANA recommends that this guidance be used to inform discussions at the regional and facility level, while also informing nurses about crisis standards of care.

ANA Crisis Standards of Care Guidelines

ANA Guidance for Nurses Who Want to Volunteer 

ANA Guidelines for Consumers Who Want to Help

 

 

Governor Polis Updates March 25, 2020 COVID-19

Analysse here with the Governor’s Community Engagement team! In an effort to continue to provide you with an official update from the Governor’s office, below includes the latest steps we are taking to respond to the Coronavirus threat. The most valuable resource we have is time and we need to do more to slow down the spread of the virus. We appreciate your support in helping to spread these updates to your network.

Quick Links to Stay Up to Date

 Topline Update

As of today we have 1,086 cases, 19 deaths, and 148 hospitalizations out of 8,064 completed tests. 

As you can see, the numbers continue to grow, and at this point, require more drastic action.

Today, the Governor signed a letter to the President asking him to declare a Major Disaster for the State of Colorado to help us deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. A Major Disaster declaration would free up a host of federal resources to assist with Medical Care, Housing, Disaster Management, Unemployment Assistance, Case management, Legal Services, Nutrition, Crisis Counseling, Hazard Mitigation, and other areas.

Furthermore, the Governor has called on the President to grant Colorado Dual Status Commander Authority. This designation will ensure unity of command, allowing regular, federal military units to be controlled by a single commander representing the Governor. This will help to eliminate confusion and conflict, and allow us to streamline the utilization of our military personnel in this response.

*NEW* -  Stay at Home Order

Today, after much deliberation with our team and with public health experts, the Governor announced that we are finalizing a statewide Stay-At-Home order that will begin on Thursday, March 26 at 6:00 a.m. and will last until Saturday, April 11, 2020.

The full order will be released by midnight. In short, what a Stay at Home order means is individuals are only to interact with their household and only leave their houses for essential activities and to take extreme precautions to limit coming in contact with potentially contaminated surfaces. 

Facilities that remain open must take steps to ensure social distancing or face legal consequences. If this order is going to be effective, instructions need to be clear and concise to all Coloradans and we must obey them. Coloradans should not leave their homes except for certain activities including:

  • Obtaining food and other household necessities including medicine, liquor, or cannabis

  • Going to and from work if you are an essential employee

  • Seeking medical care

  • Caring for dependents or pets

  • Caring for a vulnerable person in another location

  • Or participating in outdoor recreation at a legally-mandated safe distance of six feet or more from other parties.

  • Limiting our social interactions is the most effective way to get control of this virus. The projections dictate that more extreme measures must be taken to avoid a colossal breach of our health care system’s capacity. The priority MUST be preventing a catastrophic loss of human life. We all have a responsibility to ourselves, our fellow Coloradans, and our fellow Americans to reduce the spread of this virus. Our goal is to prevent the unnecessary sacrifice of human lives. And it’s going to take all of us.

Grocery Store Guidance

At the state level we are focused on keeping all Coloradans safe, especially essential employees. We know that grocery stores have been very busy these past few weeks, and they will continue to be busy. Yesterday, the Governor sent a letter to grocery executives -- and followed up with Safeway and King Soopers this morning -- asking them to prioritize the health and safety of their workers and help reduce the spread of the virus by:

  • Providing appropriate gloves, masks, face screens, and other personal protective equipment to grocery store workers to the extent possible

  • Consider expanding into grocery delivery services, prioritizing service to those at the highest risk

  • Provide daily designated time periods for higher-risk individuals to shop - I know some stores are already doing that.

  • Establish entrance/access controls to ensure crowds are in compliance with safe social distancing practices like standing six feet away from each other in line

  • To the extent possible, assign those employees with higher health-risks to tasks with lowest exposure risks such as backroom work.

We want to make sure that those essential employees are able to perform their work safely while we manage this crisis. We’re also calling on municipalities to temporarily suspend plastic bag fee ordinances for thirty days because of the potential to spread COVID-19 through the use of reusable grocery bags.

Federal Stimulus Package

As this pandemic continues, we will continue to need the federal government to step up for Coloradans. This package will help workers and small businesses.

The package being negotiated includes $600 per week in additional unemployment benefits and extends the time in which individuals can collect unemployment benefits to 39 weeks. There are also more than $300 billion in loans and grants to small businesses across the country. Individual Americans would receive up to $1,200 per person in direct payments based on income with an additional $500 available per child.

Army Corps of Engineers / ICU Beds

Right now, Army Corps of Engineers are assisting with planning and constructing alternative care sites, which are existing facilities that can be converted to provide medical care for non-COVID patients and/or patients who are recovering from COVID-19. This is incredibly important, and they need to be brought online quickly so we can handle the coming surge of cases. At the peak of this crisis, we expect to need thousands of more hospital beds. If we do not flatten the curve, the need for those beds could be all at once. So building this extra care space will be vitally important for our state’s health care system capacity.

Testing Update

The State lab has eliminated its backlog, and tripled its testing capacity. We know that one lab is not going to be enough -- we need every lab in the state at maximum capacity. We’ve conducted 7 mobile testing sites to date. And there are new labs coming online to do testing: CU, CSU, University Hospital, Children’s. And we are in the process of distributing 4500 test kits to Local Public Health agencies for additional testing at community-based testing sites in Fort Collins, Grand Junction, and Colorado Springs.

Urgent Call for More Ventilators

One area that continues to be a challenge is getting our hands on enough ventilators. Right now we’re about 7,000 short of what we will need at the peak. Our latest delivery from the national stockpile included zero ventilators. Our Innovation Response Team is working as hard as they can to identify manufacturers and supply chains, but we need private sector manufacturers in our state to join this cause and help us produce these ventilators that will save the lives of our neighbors, our friends, our parents, grandparents, maybe even ourselves.

PPE Drive / HelpColoradoNow / COVID-19 Relief Fund / Donate Blood

We want to continue to encourage those who are able to continue to rise to the challenge in all sorts of ways.

  • Personal Protective Equipment:To donate PPE keep the bare minimum amount of supply you need to conduct essential or life saving functions, and contribute the remainder to our state's COVID19 response. If you have small quantities of supplies to contribute, between 1-25 boxes of personal protective equipment donate these supplies to yourlocal public health department, local community health center, community clinic, or local hospital. If you have more than 25 boxes, or the pieces of larger equipment such as anesthesia machines or ventilators, fill outTHIS FORM.

  • Relief Fund: To donate to COVID-19 Relief Fund, go to HelpColoradoNow.org

  • Volunteer to Help: Sign up to volunteer atHelpColoradoNow.org

  • Donated blood:Visitvitalant.org to find a location to donate near you.

  • Innovation Response Team:Private sector companies who want to partner with us on acquiring testing, critical constrained medical supplies, technology, or support services for people who are isolated go toHelpColoradoNow.org.

We’re all in this together, and we will continue to look for both public and private sector solutions that will allow us to address the public health crisis and the economic crisis at the same time. The most important and responsible thing we can do -- for our state, country, and the lives of those around us -- is to stay home unless it’s absolutely necessary.

 

Center for Improving Value in Health Care: Colorado Low Value Care Report

March 25, 2020

Now more than ever it’s important that Colorado provides the right care, at the right time, and in the right setting to support a strong, effective health care system that is affordable and accessible to everyone in need. That's why in this newsletter CIVHC is proud to be releasing the first ever Colorado Low Value Care report using CO APCD data. Low value care refers to services, treatments and medications that don't always provide benefit to patients and can cause actual harm (physical, emotional, or financial). Given the current strains across many sectors in the state, understanding where we have opportunities to free up resources to devote to patients most in need is paramount. This information is crucial now and will continue to be meaningful data to pay attention to in the future.
Low Value Care in Colorado
New Report and Infographic Summary Now Available!
This analysis of claims in the CO APCD from 2015-2017 identifies the top 13 low value care services according to national guidelines, and identifies associated spending and volume across Medicare, Medicaid and Commercial health insurance claims for different regions across the state.
 

A Letter to Colorado Healthcare and Health Services Professionals from Governor Jared Polis

March 23, 2020

As the State of Colorado comes together to respond to Conoravirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) we are faced with a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for our health care workforce.  As you know from your own experience, without this protection, our health care workforce is unable to perform their critical duties and our health care system can not operate at the capacity we need in this crisis. 

Today, I am reaching out to you because I need your help to save the lives of our fellow Coloradans. I am requesting that you review all of the PPE in stock in your offices. 

Specifically, we are looking for information regarding the quantity of the following pieces of equipment: 

  • Eye protection and goggles
  • Face shields
  • Surgical masks - with shields
  • Surgical masks - without shields
  • N95 masks
  • Non-sterile gloves
  • Sterile gloves
  • Disposable gowns
  • Biohazard bags
  • Anesthesia machines
  • Ventilators, whether in use for medical care, animal care, or research.

I am asking for you to keep the bare minimum amount of supply you need to conduct essential or life saving functions, and contribute the remainder to our state's COVID19 response. 

If you have small quantities of supplies to contribute, between 1-25 boxes of personal protective equipment  (i.e., six boxes of protective eye glasses) we ask that you donate these supplies to your local public health department, local community health center, community clinic, or local hospital. 

If you have more than 25 boxes, or the pieces of larger equipment such as anesthesia machines or ventilators, we ask that you fill out THIS FORM, so we can determine if these items are needed in our state’s emergency supply. Once we receive your form entry, we will follow up with you to determine next steps. Please complete THIS FORM by Friday, March 27 at noon.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this request.  Working together, we can get through this crisis. 

If you have questions about this request please reach email [email protected]   .

Sincerely,

Jared Polis

Governor

 
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