COVID-19 support call centers for long-term care facilities established

Teresa Miller, secretary of the state's Department of Health and Human Services, said the Regional Response Health Collaboration will enable long-term care providers to turn to for real-time technical assistance and clinical support.

An around-the-clock call centers to provide clinical and operational support to long-term care facilities as they protect residents and staff from COVID-19 has been set up in the state.

The call centers are run and staffed by health systems participating in the Regional Response Health Collaboration Program (RRHCP), the education and clinical support network launched for long-term care providers earlier this month.

Regional call centers will be available to provide direct support and assistance.  

The center covering Lawrence County has been established by UPMC/Allegheny Health Network. The phone number (412) 648-6714 or (866) 496-1766.

“Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 could arise at any point, and for people living and working in a long-term care facility, quick action and mitigation efforts could be the difference between isolated cases and an outbreak,” said Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller. “The Regional Response Health Collaboration was established to be a network that long-term care providers can turn to for real-time technical assistance and clinical support, and call centers run by each health system partner will allow facilities across Pennsylvania to know that no matter when they have a question or a challenge arises, they are not alone in this fight.”

More than 45,000 Pennsylvanians live in more than 1,200 personal care homes and assisted living residences, and more than 80,000 residents live in 693 nursing facilities throughout the commonwealth. These residents are often some of the most vulnerable and susceptible to COVID-19 due to age, presence of existing health conditions that may lead to complications, and the congregate nature of these facilities. The Wolf Administration is committed to continuing to provide close support to long-term care facilities

The RRHCP provides clinical, operational, and administrative support to protect residents in long-term care facilities from COVID-19. Long-term care settings offer different levels of care, and less acute settings may not have on-site clinical support necessary to navigating the pandemic. The RRHCP will help those facilities implement best practices in infection control, implement contact tracing programs in facilities, support clinical care through on-site and telemedicine services, and provide remote monitoring and consultation with physicians. The collaboratives will also help facilities respond to developments and changes in implementing best practices in responding to COVID-19 so they are able to remain up-to-date with Pennsylvania Department of Health and Centers and Disease Control guidance.

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