Country: United States
Bon Secours Palliative Medicine and Hospice: COVID -19 Frontline Provider Action Plan
The Palliative Medicine and the Hospice teams of Bon Secours Mercy Health (BSMH) in Richmond, VA were at the forefront of developing a COVID-19 response plan. Once a state of emergency was announced in March 2020, its physician leaders were involved with the surge planning committees of the four BSMH hospitals in the area. The goals were to continue to provide excellent care for patients while planning for limited resources, a high volume of patients, and strict no visitation policies.
At each Richmond BSMH hospital, the leadership including the Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) and Chief Nursing Executives (CNEs) were proactive in devising best practice treatment plans for patients with COVID-19 while also keeping staff and the community safe. Given the high morbidity and mortality and few effective treatment options in the early months of the pandemic, leadership reached out to the Palliative Medicine and Hospice team to provide expertise on planning committees for the best palliative care practices. From March to May 2020, the BSMH team cared for 71 “comfort patients” at the end of life. The collaboration among administrative and clinical leadership as well as the support of multiple services resulted in successful implementation of the “comfort patient” COVID-19 response plan.