We are seeing evidence that the pandemic is evolving – but it hasn’t hit in full force, yet. 

There is still important and urgent work to be done right now. 

Consider making the focus of this week connecting with people in your practice who are have a higher than average risk of serious COVID illness.  

Step 1.  Make a list so you can be systematic over time, and so you can work together with others. 

There are many ways to do this. 

If you are able to, or have access to tech savvy help, generate a list of people over 65, and others who are vulnerable because of their illnesses, social circumstances or medications.

Alternately have a look at your schedule in the 6 months prior to COVID-19.  Who did you see that you would now worry about? 

Step 2.  Make some phone calls. It’s important that these calls be made by a clinician.  There are several aspects to this conversation that will need a clinician’s brain. You may be doing an assessment of their current state, need for medication, degree of social isolation, food security. 

Attached is an example of an excel spreadsheet, which you can feel free to take and use to track information (updated April 16, 2020) (also attached in word .doc format). Just highlight and clear the example patients, add you name to the top left corner and start.

We have included two things that might help you prioritise your time:

  • a clinical frailty score. It takes 30 seconds to record your “gestalt” on a patient and could really pay off in helping you focus your time.
  • a starter list of issues to consider in the conversation. 

One thing to consider is offering the opportunity for an Advance Care Planning conversation as part of this.

Patients can use the “Speak Up” resources to discuss with families.

There is also a useful resource to use for serious illness conversations for patients who actually have COVID.

These things and other resources are available on an easy to navigate HFAM Clinical Pathways and Evidence page, which will organize the information we have to date, and update regularly.

Prepared by Dee Mangin, March 30, 2020

Notes from Hamilton Public Health

March 31, 2020

Public Health Services (905-974-9848) will continue to connect vulnerable individuals in need of support with the City Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to facilitate the following:

  • Emergency food delivery for those in self isolation or deemed medically vulnerable who have no other supports such as friends, family or neighbours to assist.
  • Delivery of masks and gloves to individuals identified by PH as COVID positive
  • Arranging transportation to the assessment centres via DARTS for individuals requiring testing for COVID-19
  • Providing information for accessing financial supports such as OW and EI and supporting navigation of these processes
  • Receiving and forwarding requests from community agencies such as long term care facilities, shelters and residential housing for PPE as well as supplies (i.e. bags and boxes for the food banks)
  • Supporting individuals with accessing or renewing prescriptions through their pharmacy
  • Support with accessing Mental Health supports (primarily COAST)
  • Tracking and forwarding offers of support from the community to our City EOC for coordinated planning