Keeping up with change is seldom as challenging as it’s been for HealthTrust’s “COVID Squad,” which has mounted a monumental effort to educate members about the new disease, treatments and products, amid a constantly shifting landscape—including monitoring regulatory sites for updates on best practices during the global health crisis.

Before they focused on COVID-19, many members of this group, comprised mostly of nurses who are experts in research and education, consulted with hospitals to improve quality outcomes primarily in the cardiac and orthopedic service lines. Others had long-provided clinical documents, comparative product feature summaries and other resources to keep HealthTrust members informed about products and procedures.

Karen Bush
Karen Bush, MSN, FNP, BC, NCRP

“The pandemic shifted our attention to a sole focus of getting accurate and up-to-date information on every aspect of COVID-19 to all of our members,” explains Karen Bush, MSN, FNP, BC, NCRP, Director of Clinical Research & Education, Clinical Services.

The quickly evolving guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on matters such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and its use, as well as decontamination procedures, made vigilance imperative.

“Because COVID and its treatment process is rapidly changing, each nurse [in the squad] was given an area of focus and a site they’re assigned to monitor,” Bush says. “We create and publish educational resources for staff and patients on the disease and treatment. As we receive questions from members at various integrated delivery networks [IDNs], we research and then respond with the best evidence that is currently available on related tools, products or methods.”

Sarah Michel
Sarah Michel, MBA, BSN, RN, NE-BC

While the flurry of regulatory guidance modifications has tapered somewhat since the early days of the crisis, HealthTrust’s COVID Squad continues its vigilance and has added more than 150 pandemic-related documents to the organization’s public education site. HealthTrust Physician Advisors are often tapped for assistance on these documents, reviewing data and lending their particular insights and experiences.

“We not only created the resources, but we continue to update them as information changes,” says Sarah Michel, MBA, BSN, RN, NE-BC, Director of Research & Clinical Engagement at HealthTrust. “As the focus of providers shifted to the COVID-19 vaccination, we began creating vaccine-related support documents, infographics and a webinar—all promoted through our websites and social media.” (See “The Planning & Logistics Involved in Delivering a COVID-19 Vaccine” for more on the COVID-19 vaccine.)

With scientific evidence on the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its ramifications generated daily, Bush and Michel agree that HealthTrust members need to remain vigilant about staying informed.

HealthTrust’s COVID Squad

HealthTrust’s COVID Squad is a team of researchers, writers and consultants with nursing and other expertise. Squad members include:

Clinicians:

  • Karen Bush, MSN, FNP, BC, NCRP
  • Sarah Michel, MBA, BSN, RN, NE-BC
  • Angie Mitchell, RN
  • Holly Moore, RN, MSN, CCRN-K
  • Kym Smith, RN
  • Kyla Stripling, MMHC, MSN, ACNP
  • Kim Wright, RN

Editorial & Design:

  • Faye Porter
  • Emily Wright

To learn more, visit our COVID-19 resources page.

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