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Florida: Nursing Home Tool Kit - Healthcare Quality Improvement Campaign
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The status of California’s policies on reporting, guidance, and mandated reporting are as follows:

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  • Florida Department of Health
    • Provides daily data updates for the number of positive cases, tests performed, deaths, number of long term care facilities with positive cases, number of persons under investigation, and other information. (Relevant link: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov)

Notable Groups: Florida Department of Health

Florida’s testing policies are described below:

  • Florida Department of Health
    • Provides daily data updates for number of positive cases, tests performed, deaths, number of long term care facilities with positive cases, number of persons of interest, and other information. (Relevant link: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov)
  • Florida Agency for Health Care Administration
    • Implemented emergency rules to require hospitals test all residents before discharge to a nursing home, and to require nursing homes to test all staff when arranged by the Department of Health.
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Notable Groups: Florida Department of Health, Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

The status of Florida’s workforce and staffing are explained beneath:

  • Florida Department of Health
    • Extended health care practitioner licensure to avoid lapse and allowed reactivation of licensure for those whose license lapsed in the last two years
  • Office of the Governor Ron DeSantis
    • Approved a temporary personal care attendant (PCA) program requested by the Florida Health Care Association and Florida LeadingAge to allow on-the-job training program for nursing assistants to work in nursing homes. The program provides an eight-hour initial training followed by supervised on-the-job training and allows the PCA to perform additional duties. (Relevant link: http://www.floridahealth.gov/newsroom/2020/04/042020-1845-covid19.pr.html)

Notable Groups: Florida Department of Health, Office of the Governor Ron DeSantis

Florida’s cohorting practices are as follows:

  • Agency for Health Care Administration
    • The number of COVID-19 dedicated Isolation Centers located throughout the state has increased from 21 to 23. These facilities have a 1,500+ bed capacity to receive COVID-19-positive skilled nursing facility residents transferred from their facilities. The list is maintained on the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration website
    • The website includes information about the types of patients that are appropriate for transfer, who can discharge patients to these Isolation Centers, and contact information to discuss potential discharge. (Relevant link: https://ahca.myflorida.com/covid-19_inf.shtml)

Notable Groups: Agency for Health Care Administration

Florida has established infection controlStrike Teams”, which are described in-depth beneath:

Notable Groups: Florida Department of Health and Florida Health Care Association (FHCA), Office of the Governor Ron DeSantis

Florida has established a number of infection control surveys and other state survey activities within their state’s boundaries:

  • Agency for Health Care Administration (SSA)
    • • Nursing home infection control surveys are being completed and shared on its website https://ahca.myflorida.com

Notable Groups: Agency for Health Care Administration (SSA)

The status of Florida’s nursing home (NH) communications during the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • Florida Department of Health and Agency for Health Care Administration
  • Florida Health Care Association (FHCA)
    • Healthcare Heroes’ Stories of Care is a special weekly communication designed to keep Florida FHCA members, legislators, state officials, and other stakeholders abreast of the positive news in the long term care profession during the COVID-19 public health emergency. (Relevant link: https://www.fhca.org/media_center/healthcare_heroes_stories_of_care)
    • Created a COVID-19-dedicated web page with information on its personal protective equipment (PPE) train-the-trainer webinar and more. (Relevant link: https://www.fhca.org/facility_operations/coronavirus)
    • Created a special communication designed to keep FHCA members, legislators, state officials, and other stakeholders abreast of the positive news in the long term care profession during the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Florida Hospital Association (FHA), Florida Health Care Association (FHCA)
    • FHA and FHCA are hosting 21 regional Acute/Post-acute Collaborative (APAC) calls. The regions are in alignment with the QIN-QIO community coalitions. The objective of these calls is to bring providers and local stakeholders together and to increase collaboration and communication, share challenges, best practices, data, support, and resources. The calls began on June 10, 2020 and will continue every four to six weeks with topics based on the communities’ needs. The call schedule can be viewed on the FHCA website. (Relevant link: https://www.fhca.org)
  • Florida Medical Director’s Association
    • Convened a collaborative call with the Florida Healthcare Association, Florida Hospital Association, Emergency Medical Services, and Social Security Administration.

Notable Groups: Florida Department of Health and Agency for Health Care Administration, Florida Health Care Association (FHCA), Florida Hospital Association (FHA), Florida Health Care Association (FHCA), Florida Medical Director’s Association

Florida’s ongoing actions to improve access to personal protective equipment (PPE):

  • Florida Health Care Association (FHCA)
  • Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM)
    • The Division made another major push for personal protective equipment (PPE) to support health care workers in long term care facilities. This includes 4 million masks, 200,000 face shields, and 500,000 gloves. (Relevant link: https://floridadisaster.org/covid19)
  • Orlando Health System
    • • Orlando Health System implemented “COVID Safety Officers (CSOs)” in all its facilities. This health system includes acute care, two long term care facilities and physician practices. Every shift, a designated staff person is the CSO tasked to observe employees donning and doffing personal protective equipment (PPE), performing appropriate hand hygiene, and assuring that all other infection control and prevention policies and procedures are being followed. This has provided a level of reassurance to the long term care facilities in the greater Orlando area when accepting transfers from acute care from this health system.

Notable Groups: Florida Health Care Association (FHCA), Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), Orlando Health System

Florida’s current actions to improving the utilization of personal protective equipment (PPE):

  • Florida Health Care Association (FHCA)
    • • Conducted a personal protective equipment (PPE) train-the-trainer webinar on April 8, 2020.

Notable Groups: Florida Health Care Association (FHCA)

The state of Florida’s patient transfer routines below:

  • Florida Agency for Health Care Administration
    • Early in the epidemic, worked with Florida Health Care Association and Florida Hospital Association to provide guidance related to transfers between nursing homes and hospitals. (Relevant link: http://ahca.myflorida.com/COVID-19_Facilities.shtml – facility)
    • Implemented emergency rule mandating hospital testing prior to discharge to long-term care facility.
    • Directed nursing homes to transfer residents if the nursing home is unable to appropriately isolate and following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. (Relevant link: http://ahca.myflorida.com/COVID-19_Facilities.shtml#facility)
    • Facilitated regional collaboratives of hospitals and nursing homes to provide critical infection control education and support

Notable Groups: Florida Agency for Health Care Administration

Florida’s current resources during the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • Florida Health Care Association
  • Florida Health Care Coalitions
    • Offers dedicated page on website for COVID-19 information, including information about symptoms, handwashing, social distancing, and Q&As. (Relevant link: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov)
  • Florida Hospital Association
  • Florida Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (FMDA)

Notable Groups: Florida Health Care Association, Florida Health Care Coalitions, Florida Hospital Association, Florida Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (FMDA)

Florida’s ongoing actions to better check visitors for potential Covid-19 and other methods of screening said visitors for family meetings:

Notable Groups: Advent Health Care Center Orlando North, Florida Agency for Health Care Administration

Florida’s notable organizations that are confirmed nursing home assistance for the pandemic:

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Florida: Nursing Home Tool Kit

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