Vaccinating the Homebound in NH

It’s a daunting challenge to vaccinate patients in all areas of the state with vaccines that must be used within a matter of hours. Pinning down the details has been difficult for many reasons. The Regional Public Health Networks and home care agencies across the state all have varying capabilities, not to mention there’s a nursing shortage.

The Alliance hosted a zoom meeting featuring Lori Nash, MSM and Schelley Rondeau, RN from Central NH VNA covering logistical challenges of delivering vaccines to patients at home. They will discuss their experiences mobilizing teams of home health and hospice agency nurses and emergency medical services (EMS) to vaccinate homebound patients—and eligible family members—at home.


Link to video recording: https://youtu.be/fciGTuNlm_Y

Handouts:

NH DHHS Provider Agreement –and Instructions for Completion

Establish a Contract if Vaccinating your patients,  Lisa.Morris@dhhs.nh.gov

Nash covers the planning and implementation stages, including steps taken to address the storage, transportation and scheduling challenges.

  • Once a vaccination team receives thawed vials of vaccine from the department of health, they have five days to administer it all.
  • When and how to appropriately open and transfer a vial to individual syringes.
  • Hand offs for RN, responsibility & accountability
  • vaccination teams have six hours to administer those doses.

Home health and hospice agencies have played a critical role in pandemic response since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, providing health care and personal care at home—including COVID-19 care—keeping patients safer and reducing the pressures on hospitals and long-term care facilities. Now home health agencies and hospice agencies have a new role—making sure home bound Granite Staters eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations can get them. We have begun by screening patients to identify anyone who cannot safely get to a vaccination clinic.

The Alliance and its members are committed to doing our part to get homebound patients vaccinated. Details are still evolving. I wish I could say: “here’s the plan, let’s go do it.” But It’s likely that plans will look different in communities across the state; there will need to be a group effort with RPHNs, EMS and other partners.