Five Best Practices for Continuing to Serve Your Clients While Flattening the Curve
In the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19), your organization may have decided to have staff work from home. Even if there isn’t a physical presence at your facility, the need for behavioral healthcare and treatment for substance use disorders (SUD) is still there. In fact, it’s probably more necessary now than before. Here are five simple tips to help you serve your clients while working remotely.
1. Maintain a regular schedule – you can’t continue to serve if you burn out.
When working from home, it’s easy to get distracted and allow your productivity to suffer. On the other hand, it can be all too easy to blur the line between home life and work life. The American Psychiatric Association advises: “When working from home, be sure that you are working reasonable hours. It can be tempting to work more while you have your work at home, however it can also be taxing on your health and well-being, so stick to a schedule with healthy boundaries.”
2. Stay in regular contact with your team members.
It can be useful to schedule a regular phone or Zoom call with members of your team to check in, and not just on the work progress. The stresses of COVID-19 and loss of social interaction in the office can be taxing. Check in with your team on their wellbeing to continue supporting each other.
3. Check in on your clients.
It is necessary now as professionals in behavioral healthcare or addiction treatment to check in on existing clients. The stresses of social isolation, health scares, and economic concern are all triggers for those suffering from mental illnesses or substance use disorders.
Chris Reed, a 29-year-old in recovery from an SUD, said to ABC, “It’s hard enough to make that first decision and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to change my life, I’m going to try and get sober.’ For all that support to not be as robust and effective as is normally sucks, for lack of a better term. It’s just not the same. There are a lot of struggles.”
Dayry Hulkow, a therapist in South Florida, described in the same ABC article how COVID-19 can negatively affect mental health: “… there is the boredom, having to stay at home with very limited access to the outside world, hobbies meetings and employment. All that kind of stuff, it’s a significant trigger as well. Then for those that do have family at home, a lot of times family could … lead to disputes in the home. Being confined in such a small area without any outside release could also be a trigger for relapse.”
4. Follow the CDC’s recommendations.
You can’t serve if you are recovering from COVID-19. Follow the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommended guidelines for protecting yourself and others. Most of the steps are simple. They include:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Stay home as much as you can
- Avoid close contact – follow the six feet rule!
- If you leave the home, cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover
- Disinfect surfaces daily
Check CDC.gov for more tips. The Office of the Surgeon General is another resource, regularly providing updates on COVID guidelines and how to check for symptoms: coronavirus.gov.
However, don’t be afraid to take a break from following new developments, as obsessively checking in can increase anxiety over the pandemic. The CDC advises healthy eating, regular exercise, and plenty of sleep. They also advise to “take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.”
5. Make things as simple as you can.
Things are complicated enough. You need solutions, and you need them now. KLAS® Research released the COVID-19 Technology & Services Solutions Guide advising changes that hundreds of vendors are making to help healthcare professionals.
AZZLY® is one of them. To help our clients get through this, we’ve rolled out Telehealth Services through our partner Zoom® Healthcare. Our revenue cycle management (RCM) engine allows users to auto-generate a claim based on the scheduled appointment type for real-time claims submission driving efficiency for any remote staff and billing department. With TSYS® Mobile Payment functionality, providers can easily accept credit card payment anytime/anywhere.
Based on demand we are providing an affordable 30-day fast track to streamline set-up, training and implementation for small and mid-sized facilities.
Take the next step to get a demo of our all-in-one system AZZLY Rize™, an electronic health record (EHR), revenue cycle management (RCM), and patient management (PM) solution behavioral healthcare and addiction treatment professionals. Fill out this form and we will email you a demo. Then one of our EHR and Billing Specialists will be in touch shortly for a discovery call to learn how we can serve you.