Scientists establish practical safety protocol for home visits in era of Covid

American Academy of Family Physicians

Researchers describe a protocol for donning and doffing personal protective equipment in home settings for health care professionals who must interact with patients potentially infected with COVID-19. This protocol addresses gaps in COVID-19 related guidelines, specifically the process of donning and doffing PPE during home visits while supplementing PPE guidelines and protocols. To create the protocol, the researchers used an interactive, rapid-prototyping approach. A small workgroup created preliminary drafts, drawing upon hospital-based protocols and modifying them while undertaking simulations. They received wider input by conducting two webinars — one regional in the Hamilton, Ontario, Canada area with palliative clinicians and another that included clinicians from across Canada. Researchers also consulted a group of infectious disease experts. Additionally, the team created a “how to” video to accompany the protocol, which includes guidance on how to prepare for a home visit; entering the home; leaving the home; post-visit and reprocessing. In addition to PPE-related equipment like gloves and surgical masks, the protocol also recommends additional materials including two pails for transporting supplies, plastic bags, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and printed, easy-to-use checklists. To view the “how to” video, click here.

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