We've done a lot since the beginning of SST COVID Response Liaison operations on April 13th, 2020.
The SST began operations on April 13th, 2020 after about 2 weeks of consultation with senior care stakeholders and medical experts, volunteer recruitment and training, and infrastructure development.
The SST librarian, in consultation with the leadership team, created and maintains the COVID Alliance SST FAQ Library, a key resource for both SST Liaisons and New Hampshire senior care facility leaders.
SST Supply Coordinators learned in early May that the DHHS PPE request system closed out any orders that were partially filled and that several SST facilities didn’t know it worked that way. SST Supply Coordinators and Liaisons were then able to inform our facilities and help them get the supplies they need.
The SST submitted special reports to DHHS on facility satisfaction with private PPE suppliers during June 2020, revealing widespread problems with product availability, prices, quantity limitations, and delivery issues.
A self-assessment of SST operations conducted by an independent expert study group showed that 93% of our facilities found the support we provided in key areas useful; 71% of our facilities found our support on infection control useful, which vastly exceeded the expectations of SST Liaisons.
The SST proactively engaged with stakeholders in mid-November 2020 to ensure that all types of senior care facilities, including skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and assisted living facilities (ALFs) were clearly included in COVID-19 Vaccination Phase 1a in New Hampshire.
In January, after meeting with the state’s LTCF associations, SST drafted a two page guide to addressing vaccine hesitancy including best practices in engaging LTCF staff in conversation about vaccines, tips for encouraging vaccination, and links to resources.
The SST rapidly reported issues with access to COVID-19 vaccines for senior care facilities and staff many times in late 2020 and early 2021, enabling those issues to be corrected to ensure vaccine access. Most of these issues were corrected on the same day.
The SST advocated for extended surveillance testing for ALFs - an early March announcement indicated testing would end by March 31st. ALF surveillance testing was instead extended until June 30th.
The SST advocated for resumption of in-person tours for residents’ families for facilities that were fully vaccinated in order to mitigate the financial impacts of a decreased resident census.
The SST provided critical support in connecting facilities with resources to fill staffing gaps.
The SST distributed weekly email newsletters to all our SST member facilities and independent facilities around the state starting on May 5th, 2020. These newsletters included valuable updates on state and federal guidance and any new information pertaining to COVID-19 that had long term care implications.
SST Liaisons have supported at least 54 primary contacts, representing at least 60 NH senior care facilities, since mid-May 2020.
The SST Daily Update System has sent over 56,000 text messages to our facilities for daily check-ins and received over 39,000 replies. The long-term average response rate to the first daily status question is over 85%.
SST Liaisons have logged over 19,000 daily facility status checks since April 19th.
SST Liaisons made 3,908 calls to their assigned facilities between April 19th, 2020 and April 12th, 2021. They connected with the facility contact and completed 2,783 calls in that time.
About 200 volunteers have worked with the SST over the last year.