Each day, Bonita Waites, the clinical operations manager of Parker At Your Door, a medical house-call program through Parker Jewish Institute, calls patients’ families asking a series of questions.
With each call, she asks: Who is living in the home right now with the patient? Does anyone there have signs of COVID-19 (fever, muscle pain, nausea and other symptoms)? Has anyone traveled internationally?
This is all part of the protocol for Parker At Your Door amid the COVID-19 pandemic when finalizing details for visits from one of the program’s nurse practitioners throughout Nassau, Suffolk and Queens counties. Service will expand to Brooklyn in July.
Ms. Waites then explains that the nurse practitioner will be dressed in head to toe personal protective equipment gear – including masks, gowns and shoe coverings – to keep families and employees safe. And each nurse practitioner is tested for COVID-19 testing twice a week.
Sometimes family members have questions for Ms. Waites, including whether the PPE is changed before each family visit.
“Absolutely,” Ms. Waites said, going further into depth about Parker’s commitment to exceed protocols set forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health.
Ensuring that she has the correct paperwork, medical records and insurance forms, Ms. Waites gives the family a time range for the visit.
Many healthcare professionals canceled routine visits in the pandemic, but as the region’s economy begins to reopen, Parker At Your Door is now resuming medical house calls, in addition to its ongoing tele-health visits.
This is especially important to older, homebound adults who would otherwise find it a hardship to get to a doctor’s office. Parker At Your Door’s clinicians perform monthly wellness checks and also provide prescriptions for any needed medications. And they can arrange for any lab work, EKGs, physical and/or occupational therapy, podiatry visits. All of this is a benefit to older adults who remain vulnerable amid the pandemic but require regular medical visits to manage chronic illness such as heart disease and diabetes.
For families, Parker At Your Door eases the burden of caring for their loved ones. The program enables older adults to maintain their health so that they can continue to live in their homes, where they are most comfortable. This high level of patient care also helps keep older adults out of the hospital.
Parker At Your Door is providing a much-needed service for older adults in the region, making it easy for families to sign up. Unlike other services, no referral is needed.
“Parker At Your Door is addressing an important need in Nassau and Queens, where the population is aging,” said Michael N. Rosenblut, Parker’s president and CEO. “These regular wellness visits make a difference for older adults so that they can maintain their health, and prevent a medical crisis, helping them avoid the need for a hospital visit.”