In April, a small post-acute facility in a large Southeast city began to feel the harsh impact of COVID-19. As patient health deteriorated the Department of Health, assisted by the National Guard, tested all 204 residents and staff—104 residents and 21 staff members tested positive for COVID-19. At this point, one resident and one staff member had passed away as a result of the virus.
This facility needed fresh leadership and additional staff to quickly stop the spread.
Within a week of the call, HWL identified this facility's most critical staffing requirements and partnered with colleagues at Kirby Bates Associates, a Jackson Healthcare Company, to fulfill those key needs—appointing a highly qualified interim nurse leader and additional clinical staff for support.
Once on the scene, Interim Nurse Leader Mary H., MSN, RN, did a rapid assessment of the facility in terms of staffing, leadership, standards of care, and compliance with laws and regulations. She prioritized the facility’s immediate needs, and from her initial walkthrough, it was clear that patients were not receiving the attention they needed.
“We truly had to triage every resident in order to take care of them—to know that they were safe. So that’s what we did,” she says. “I got the organizational leaders together with the physician and nurse practitioner and had every resident assessed that day.”
Mary began to outline a strategy prioritizing patient care and infection control. She wore scrubs and rounded with the staff, encouraging them to note every slight change in a resident’s status—even minor behavior changes. Everything was noted so it could be followed up on. In addition, she prioritized the health of the staff, implementing stringent rules for the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Mary also worked with the administration to find another solution to the lack of environmental service staff.
“As a contemporary leader, you go in and work with a situation—working with many different leaders, using different types of leadership—situational, transformational. You start with the basics. You introduce yourself and say ‘I’m here to help you. What do you need?’ and then you deliver on those promises.”
Mary’s expertise paid off. Under her guidance, the facility stopped the spread, eventually bringing the facility to zero COVID-19 cases. The administrator praised her efforts, saying they could not have done it without her. Mary credits her extensive healthcare experience and leadership skills with her success. Her story of using servant leadership to affect life-saving change proves what’s possible with the right leader in place at the right time.
Fulfilling Your Most Urgent Staffing Needs
As the number of COVID-19 cases increases across the nation and a growing number of healthcare workers are removed from work, hospitals are facing a more severe staffing shortage. In response, HWL is offering healthcare delivery organizations a rapid response staffing program designed to meet the urgent staffing needs driven by increased demand for locum tenens, nurses, and allied health professionals due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Key Elements of the COVID-19 Staffing Program
- Designed specifically for COVID-19 surge staffing needs
- Free service to healthcare delivery organizations
- Reduced fee to agencies for this special program
- Vendor-neutral model - 100+ agencies
- Standard contract in place with 100+ agencies
- Client setup within 24 hours
- Account manager assigned to manage and distribute orders quickly
- Ability to manage the entire staffing process from order to invoice through the HWL Vendor Management System (VMS) platform
If you have additional questions please call the HWL Sales Department by phone at 833-HWL-INFO (833-495-4636) or submit a program inquiry form here.
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