A regional cooperative of schools in New England was looking for advisement in keeping their staff and teachers safe amidst COVID-19, ahead of the upcoming fall semester. They began working with Healthstat to lay out an effective, short-term plan that included COVID-19 testing, symptom trackers, and temperature checks that would prepare their staffs’ return to work.
But this cooperative--comprised of 1000 employees, 600 of whom are on the employer health plan—soon realized that their partnership with Healthstat could extend beyond COVID-19 testing and evolve into onsite care that utilizes already-established school spaces. The initial goal of keeping their students and staff safe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic turned into a broader mission to protect their overall health.
Medical Bag Model
The schools brought to Healthstat deidentified care data that painted a need for a more flexible, accessible system: over 30% of their employee population were considered high risk in categories like disease management, which correlates with an increased risk of complications from a COVID-19 infection. Healthstat’s response was to coordinate a “medical bag” registered nurse model that could travel to all schools and use the established school nurse space to treat teachers and staff.
This treatment would go beyond COVID-19 testing and protocols: the registered nurse could perform health risk assessment and biometric screenings, perform blood draws and various CLIA-waived labs, perform step and flu tests, provide important vaccinations for illnesses like flu, hep A, hep B, and tetanus, triage acute care scenarios, and serve as an onsite health coach for general wellness questions. With a supervisory MD on staff, the onsite RN could also act on positive flu or strep tests and call in prescriptions to the local pharmacy.
The benefit of this medical bag model is that it cut out the immediate need for a brick-and-mortar health center—a months-long process that the schools could not take under present needs. It also delivered a healthcare professional that could serve as an onsite advisor for the cooperative, providing “admin hours” to keep school district leaders abreast of health concerns and trends both COVID-related and general.
Phased Care Approach
The schools have even begun discussions with Healthstat about a Phase Two and Three to this care model. Phase Two would occur 12 months after initial implementation and include the introduction of a mid-level provider, like a nurse practitioner or physician assistant, into the medical bag model to increase diagnosing and treating capabilities. A full stand-alone center with onsite MD and dispensary would comprise Phase Three, 24 months after implementation. While the collective realized an onsite center was not in the immediate future given present circumstances, Healthstat was able to provide a long-term plan that would get them to the goal of a full onsite healthcare model using accessible, effective short-term additions. This flexibility in providing a client-minded solution worked to secure the trust of the cooperative and showed that Healthstat was able to adapt where it matters most.
The collective is so confident in the value of their Phase 1 model, they are providing all 1000 employees—both those on the employer’s care plan and those who are not—access to the onsite RN. This creative plan to utilize already existing spaces across the schools means not only a safer, more guided return to work amidst COVID-19, but a healthier workforce for all in the long run. They feel that Healthstat’s creative approach to onsite healthcare—and their commitment to producing quantitative results in health that can attest to success will guide them through the COVID-19 pandemic while improving the health of their employees both in and beyond the crisis.
Adapting to a global pandemic requires foresight, ingenuity, and a commitment to employee safety above all else. Let us know your situation and see how we can help.
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