April 28, 2020
An Open Letter to Our Extended Regency Integrated Health Services Families
Dear Families and Friends,
As one of the largest providers of nursing home and rehabilitation services in Texas, we at Regency Integrated Health Services have a tremendous responsibility to protect and care for each patient and staff member inside our facilities. It’s a responsibility we take to heart. We want to thank you for trusting us to care for your loved ones. As we continue to navigate through this unprecedented crisis, our top priority is keeping our patients healthy and safe. I would like to share more on how we are doing that inside every facility.
You may recall it was the first week of March, early in the virus outbreak, we began to prepare for what would be one of the most challenging times in history for every health care facility across the country. We assembled an Emergency Preparedness Committee consisting of physicians, nurses, and other healthcare experts to develop a coordinated COVID-19 plan. We began working with vendors to secure the equipment we would need to protect patients, families and staff. Today we continue to communicate daily with our vendors to ensure each facility has the protective gear needed.
We implemented changes to our protocols, including the immediate closure of each of our facilities to all volunteers and non-essential visitors. While it was a difficult decision, we know it was the right thing to do. Since then, we have taken many additional measures to reduce the risk to patients and staff. Some of these measures include:
- Secured personal protective equipment (PPE) for all staff at each facility
- Established guidelines for proper handling of PPE before and after staff member shifts
- Provide ongoing training of employees to ensure all are compliant with guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as standards set by local and state agencies
- Daily health screenings for patients and staff, including temperature checks
- For facilities with COVID-19 positive patients, we have created isolated spaces for the assessment and treatment of all COVID-19 patients, with physical barriers. We have also designated specific staff to COVID-19 only patients, with no duties elsewhere in the facility
- Eliminated community dining. Patients are served in their rooms, with exceptions for those who require assistance
- Deployed snack and hydration carts to rooms to ensure patients can enjoy their favorite treats
- Provide on-site meals to staff to help limit community spread of COVID-19
- Enhanced housekeeping protocols in all high touchpoints and resident use areas
- All personal laundry is now done by the facility, to ensure all CDC guidelines are followed
- Eliminated group therapy Services- now only one- to -one
- Practice social distancing throughout our facilities
- Prohibited visitors and volunteers from entering the building
- Enabled video chat technology between our patients and families and friends so that they can stay connected
- Our corporate office has employed new systems to ensure all additional monitoring and reporting from facilities can be effectively tracked
Each day, we receive updated guidelines from various federal, state and local public health agencies. Regency has incorporated these recommendations, including notifying proper state officials if a patient or staff member tests positive for the virus. We are also in constant communication with all our facility administrators ensuring new protocols are understood and enforced and that every staff member is well equipped with the tools they need to stay healthy so that they can continue to care for our patients.
We are committed to addressing every new challenge this pandemic brings, while remaining true to our core mission of providing care to those who need it most. Thank you for allowing us to care for your loved ones, it is our privilege to serve our patients and their families.