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AABH Board Responds to COVID-19 Pandemic

Background of COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a state of pandemic (global epidemic of COVID-19)
There are now about 135,000 infected persons worldwide and the most active countries are now Italy, Iran, Korea, Spain, Germany, France, and the United States
The US now has about 1,700 cases with 40 deaths; 457 cases are in Washington State 

We know that our AABH members serve high risk and vulnerable populations. The individuals you provide care for daily need treatment for mental illness and are at risk if they do not receive treatment. Therefore, AABH has put together the following recommendations:

 

Recommendations:

  • Screen all individuals coming to the programs. Ask about recent travel. Refer for treatment if symptoms of fever, coughing, difficulty breathing are present.
  • If using a transportation service, train drivers to screen patient at pickup, prior to transporting to programs.
  • Encourage patients to use hand hygiene frequently, reminding them to wash for 20 seconds.
  • Have hand sanitizers present in all group rooms. As staff members, wash hands OR use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with each patient contact.
  • Clean and disinfect all surfaces (per your organization’s policy) after each group session. Do the same for transportation vehicles.
  • Because we serve vulnerable populations, consider telehealth options to still be able to check in with those unable to come to the program due to illness.
  • Consider other options (telehealth or individual sessions) for high-risk and vulnerable populations (such as the elderly and immune compromised).
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes and especially when your hands may be contaminated.
  • When feeling sick yourself, stay home and avoid close contact with others. Because not all people have the same symptoms, stay home if you are feeling ill at all.
  • If sick with symptoms of COVID-19, do not go to your workplace but seek out COVID-19 screening and testing.
    Cover your cough or sneeze and strongly consider avoiding meeting with groups if you have an irritable, persistent, or compulsive cough.

Additional Resources:

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

WHO: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Johns Hopkins Interactive Map: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

Fifty Years and Counting

For over fifty years, The Association for Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare has served as a conduit for best practices and networking in the industry. Our mission is to promote Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Programs as a vital component of the Behavioral Healthcare Continuum. Our vision is to provide education, advocacy and support for Partial Hospitalization Programs and Intensive Outpatient Programs.

Why Become a Member?

Our advocates are active in Washington, DC and have a continued dialogue with CMS regarding PHP/IOP levels of care, regulations, and reimbursement. Our members can also look forward to an annual national conference that offers presentations by behavioral health industry experts critical to the success of our clients’ programs as well as many other benefits!

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