Connecting Hospitals, Families and Patients During COVID-19

VITAS remains a committed provider and partner during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are ready to leverage our mobility-first platform and telehealth services to ensure continued support for your patients, their families, and your facility.

From 24/7/365 care coordination and spiritual/psychosocial support, to seamless care transitions and intensive bereavement care, VITAS continues to deliver the services that you and your patients rely on, even we are unable to be physically present.

A COVID-19 Case Study

The following case study illustrates a typical hospice patient and how VITAS provides care in the age of coronavirus:

“RA” is an 87-year-old advanced Alzheimer’s patient who’s been in the ICU for five days and has a prognosis of a few days to a week. RA’s husband, John, is unable to see her due to restricted visitation policies. John is having difficulty understanding and coping with his wife’s condition.

Even when the VITAS team, John, and his wife cannot be in the same room, VITAS can still support everyone involved in RA’s care.

For RA, the advanced illness patient isolated from her loved ones:

  • VITAS coordinates remotely with the hospital team to provide guidance and support on end-of-life symptom management, ensuring the patient remains comfortable, and that her goals of care (GOC), wishes, and values are honored.
  • Our hospice social worker and chaplain deliver 24/7 emotional and spiritual telehealth support via phone and FaceTime.
  • We promise up to 13 months of bereavement support to RA’s family, providing her a sense of peace.

For RA’s family and friends who are unable to visit during COVID-19:

  • VITAS provides updates on the care provided in the hospital, ensuring loved ones feel connected to RA’s care plan.
  • The VITAS chaplain and social worker continue to consult with the family, helping them cope with anxiety and anticipatory grief while their loved one is isolated.
  • Our bereavement services and community support groups provide assistance for grief that may be heightened by an inability to visit or difficulty finding closure.

For the hospital preparing for an increased patient census amid COVID-19:

  • VITAS provides recommendations on the patient’s symptom management while maintaining access to our clinical expertise via 24/7 phone support.
  • We support hospital staff in conducting GOC conversations (e.g., decisions to initiate or discontinue ventilation).
  • We remain available 24/7 to provide guidance on the patient’s spiritual and emotional needs, and offer group support to staff members at our partner hospitals to address their heightened emotional distress following a patient’s death.
  • We can honor a patient’s wish to go home for end-of-life care and will arrange care transitions, including transportation, setup of equipment, supplies, and medication delivery direct to the home.

The need for hospice is constant. Our services are constant, too. Trust VITAS, the nation’s leading provider of end-of-life care, to support your patients, families, and staff throughout this crisis and long after it’s over.

Share this information with your colleagues and patients.