RESOURCES TRACKER: Free health worker mediation offering, training bundles

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UPDATED: April 13 at 11:45 a.m. 

Plenty of organizations are stepping up to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, check out our growing compilation of resources available at no cost to the healthcare industry and beyond to help address the impact of the coronavirus.

CLINICAL COMMUNICATION

  • MESSAGING: PerfectServe, a clinical communication platform, is offering free services to hospitals and physician group clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare organization clients will have free access to patient and family messaging services, such as automated patient outreach via text message. This service can be used for curbside screening and telemedicine. The company also is offering professional services to implement best practices for coronavirus use cases. Organizations interested in learning more can email [email protected].

  • TELEHEALTH: Curogram, a telemedicine and messaging platform, is providing its virtual clinic telemedicine product free to children's hospitals and smaller regional hospitals to set up an online video walk-in clinic for COVID-19 triage purposes.

  • TELEHEALTH WEBINAR: Lumina Health Partners, a healthcare consulting company, will host a no-cost webinar to help guide healthcare providers in launching telehealth visits to treat patients. The webinar will take place on Thursday March 26 at 10 a.m. CT. and will offer practical solutions on establishing telehealth services as well as information on how to properly document, code and bill for such services. Register online to attend. The webinar will also be available on-demand.

  • FREE TELEHEALTH TOOLS: Get Real Health, a wholly owned subsidiary of CPSI, is offering its "Talk with Your Doc" telehealth portal free for all of 2020 to doctors, clinics, hospitals and other health care providers worldwide for the rest of the year. Talk With Your Doc is HIPAA-compliant, secure, turnkey solution for providers. The portal enables providers to video chat with their patients and also enables patients to share health records, vital signs (such as blood pressure, heart rate and temperature readings), trigger alerts to their doctors and even get pre-screened for COVID-19.

  • FREE EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS: SR Health by Solutionreach is offering free 30-day usage of its emergency communications to keep patients connected with providers during the outbreak. Communications include broadcast email and text messaging to all or subsets of patients, two-way text messaging to allow convenient access to patients without increasing call volumes, and the ability to enable telehealth visits by including links in appointment messages. 

COMPLIANCE

  • DIGITAL TOOLS: Verge Health, a governance, risk and compliance platform for healthcare, is offering, free of charge, access to its compliance rounding solution featuring digital tools to help facilities complete COVID-19 audit procedures as proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CMS and CDC published checklists to help health facilities determine priority compliance as they prepare for a possible influx of patients infected with COVID-19. All hospitals and health systems in the U.S. have free access to the solution starting today, the company said.

DATA

  • DATA HUB: Software company Tableau has developed a free data resource hub to help organizations see and understand coronavirus public health data in near real-time. The data hub includes case data compiled by Johns Hopkins University as well as data from the World Health Organization and the CDC.

HOW-TO GUIDES

  • SANITIZER: The Food and Drug Administration released two temporary guides for the production of alcohol-based hand sanitizer to help boost supply.
  • EMERGENCY LEAVE: Mercer released a blog laying out four of the considerations of an emergency leave policy in the midst of strengthened COVID-19 shelter in place guidelines.

  • WORKER TRAINING: Penn Nursing is offering its new online training in best practices for telehealth to all health care providers, free of charge, and each completed course provides 2 CEUs with the registration code ASPIRE100. The  course provides an overview of the field of telemedicine and telehealth, the history of the field, types of telehealth applications, and discusses practical considerations such as issues pertaining to licensure, reimbursement, and workflow.  

  • WORKER TRAINING: The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is offering a new online course, free of charge, to healthcare providers on infection control practices in healthcare settings, including personal protective equipment (PPE), hand hygiene and pneumonia. The online program, Prevention Course in HAI Knowledge and Control (Prevention CHKC) was developed to improve awareness of and compliance with infection prevention and control practices and is particularly timely as healthcare teams on the frontlines are bringing on new workers and recalling those who have recently retired to address the influx of patients affected by COVID-19. SHEA is offering the course on its Online Education Center, learningCE.shea-online.org in English, free of charge until May 31, 2020 with the discount code COVID19. 

  • WORKER PROTECTION TRAINING: The National Institutes of Health is launching a website with educational resources for coronavirus workers dealing with the spread of COVID-19. The initiative got underway after Congress passed a supplemental appropriation of $10 million on March 6 for worker-based training to prevent and reduce exposure of hospital employees, emergency first responders, and other workers who are at risk of exposure to coronavirus through their work duties. The worker-based training initiative is being led by NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), which has a long-established Worker Training Program (WTP).

  • PHYSICIAN RESOURCES: The American Medical Association published several resources for physicians and practices including A Physicians Guide to COVID-19 to help physicians prepare their practices, address patient concerns, and provide answers to physicians’ top questions. It also released an AMA COVID-19 online resource center, and a COVID-19 FAQ that are updated each day with the latest information on the COVID-19 epidemic, as well as a Quick Guide to Telemedicine in Practice, a new resource to help physicians implement remote care which can help achieve a dramatic increase in the nation’s telemedicine capacity and the AMA Journal of Medical Ethics published ethical guidance for physicians to help them in making determinations about how to combat COVID-19.

  • PHYSICIAN RESOURCES: The JAMA Network a  COVID-19 Resource Center for evidence-based, actionable resources, plus videos of firsthand accounts from physicians on the front lines. It also has CME for physicians through the JAMA Network’s JN Learning website, including COVID-19 epidemiology, infection control and prevention recommendations.

SCREENING

  • CHATBOT: Microsoft is offering its Healthcare Bot service to help screen for potential infection and care. The bot will initially be available on the CDC website, officials announced. The bot can assess symptoms and risk factors for people worried about infection, suggest the next course of action such as contacting a medical provider or, for those who do not need in-person medical attention, how to manage the illness safely at home. Molina Healthcare also launched a chatbot on its website in partnership with Microsoft.

  • CHATBOT: Orbita has released a no-cost COVID-19 chatbot, enabling healthcare organizations to quickly integrate coronavirus Q&A and screening tools into existing websites. The COVID-19 Virtual Assistant is a turnkey chatbot that can improve access to coronavirus-specific question-answering and screening tools. The virtual assistant tool is prepackaged with conversationally formatted, question-and-answer and screening content from the CDC and other clinically vetted sources.

  • VIRTUAL CARE TOOL: Bright.md is offering a free evaluation, screening and escalation tool, available to all hospitals in the U.S. via its virtual care application, SmartExam. Bright.md’s rapid response team will work with interested hospitals to get the screening tool up and running via their website within a week. The tool is continually updated based on CDC guidelines. Hospitals interested in adding Bright.md’s free virtual care tool should email [email protected]

SUPPLY CHAIN

  • PROCUREMENT PLATFORM: DemandStar, which is an online network connecting local and national suppliers with government procurement officers, announced it will offer electronic bidding services and access to any local or state municipality at no cost to allow them to reach the suppliers and support. Additionally, businesses who can help respond to the many active emergency response bids are encouraged to join DemandStar.

  • INVENTORY MANAGEMENT PLATFORM: Jump Technologies is temporarily providing free access to its hospital supply chain management platform to all hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic to help facilities ensure they have the proper PPE and related COVID-19 supplies available for hospital workers.

     

SUPPORT FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS

  • FOOD: Uber is taking steps to support healthcare organizations, including providing 300,000 free meals on Uber Eats to first responders and healthcare workers in the U.S. and Canada, in coordination with local, state and provincial governments. Interested officials and organizations can reach out at [email protected] to learn more about the program. As many healthcare organizations leverage Uber Eats to feed staff, patients and caregivers, Uber also has waived the delivery fee at more than 100,000 independent businesses to support local restaurants.

  • MENTAL HEALTH: Cool Audrey  a Raleigh based business consulting company that helps incorporate mindfulness into company culture, has introduced a free meditation series for healthcare heroes and first responders. This includes two mediations, one to be done before a shift, and one after. The meditations are short and available to be streamed from a phone or computer. 

  • MENTAL HEALTH: Virtual behavioral health startup Ginger is offering U.S.-based health systems the option to provide their frontline healthcare workers with free, on-demand behavioral health coaching through the end of June 2020. Through this free benefit, eligible healthcare workers will be able to chat in real-time with a trained behavioral health coach at any time of day or night. Coaches are available within 60 seconds.

  • MENTAL HEALTH: Telehealth company Thrivetalk is offering free mental health services for essential health care workers and first responders throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the company announced Thursday. Essential workers such as nurses, doctors, and law enforcement officers are working in dangerous, stressful conditions.

  • TRAINING: HealthStream is providing its COVID-19 Rapid Response Program training bundles free of charge. The company is also offering the bundle to any state, U.S. hospital, health system, or healthcare organization that needs them. HealthStream is offering 23 courses free of charge for 90 days. 

TECH HELP

  • FRAUD ALERT: The Office of the Inspector General is releasing a COVID-19 Fraud Alert to warn about several health care fraud scams that harm patients and the federal programs designed to serve them.  This alert has general information about these schemes and how to protect against bad actors.

  • SYSTEMS INTEGRATION: Bridge Connector is offering rapid deployment system integrations for COVID-19 use cases free of charge for six months. The company says it can help hospitals and health systems manage the huge influx of patient data they’re currently experiencing by rapidly connecting data systems using its pre-built connectors. "Offering our integration platform for free and collaborating with EHR vendors and other industry stakeholders will help providers improve workflows as patient volume continues to increase," said David Wenger, Bridge Connector founder and CEO.

  • CLOUD ACCESS: Salesforce is providing coronavirus-affected health systems free access to Salesforce Health Cloud technologies, according to a company blog. The company's COVID-19 Response Package solution can be deployed quickly and at no charge for six months to immediately aid emergency response teams, call centers and care management teams for health systems affected by coronavirus.

  • REMOTE WORK PLATFORM: Salesforce company Quip Starter, a remote work platform, will be available for free to any Salesforce customer or nonprofit organization through Sept. 30, 2020.

  • RANSOMWARE HELP: Emsisoft is teaming up with incident response company Coveware to offer free ransomware help to critical care hospitals and other healthcare providers that are on the front lines of COVID-19. Healthcare providers can access both companies' complete range of ransomware-related services at no cost for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. The companies anticipate an increase in ransomware incidents and are offering these free services to get impacted providers operational again in the shortest possible time so patient care is minimally disrupted. 
     
  • WI-FI NETWORK: Juniper Networks is offering a free secure “pop up Wi-Fi network” kit for any temporary COVID-19 testing facility. Initially available in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., the kit includes free Mist wireless access points, cloud-hosted operations with an AI-driven network and an SRX firewall (with PoE, DHCP and optional LTE uplink) to ensure a secure and reliable connection, the company said. As hospitals are building outdoor drive-thru testing facilities and opening temporary triage centers in retail store parking lots, the company is deploying free Wi-Fi networks to address IT challenges. More information can be found here.
     
  • CYBER RISK REPORTS: Commercial insurance provider Corvus Insurance will provide cyber risk analysis and reports for hospitals, healthcare entities or any organization on the frontlines of the healthcare response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The reports are provided free of charge and can be requested through the company’s website. The reports help hospitals and other healthcare entities to identify gaps in security and provide recommendations to mitigate risk. 

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