The extensive website offers telemedicine resources, malpractice guidance, updated guidelines on testing and PPE use, research studies and literature, community resources, along with wellness resources for doctors and their patients. Providers can access the healthcare webpage at www.covid19si.com.
Telehealth (also known as virtual visits) has become an integral part of the healthcare system during the COVID-19 crisis. It is a useful and safe way practitioners can provide medical assistance to meet patient needs while maintaining social distancing. Given that many practices are just utilizing this technology now in light of the crisis, the site provides literature on regulatory, primary care, behavioral health and best practices from courses such as the federal government and American Medical Association (AMA).
“Our way of life has changed drastically during this crisis, and in turn so has the way medical care is provided. We want to be sure everyone has the tools they need to get through this crisis, which is why I am grateful to partner with the Richmond County Medical Society and the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness to provide our medical professionals with these resources. We will get through this challenging time, but we must continue to work together to do so,” said Borough President Jim Oddo.
The website includes the ability for doctors, nurses, physicians assistants and other medical professionals to sign up to volunteer their expertise at the hospitals or nursing homes based on their skill/comfort level.
“We are using technology to give the Staten Island Healthcare Community clinically accurate information to better serve our patients. The web site is designed to provide world class information with a local insight into the pandemic. Healthcare workers can sign up to volunteer to work on Staten Island in a setting where that healthcare worker is clinically comfortable. All financial donations made on the website are to the Staten Island Not for Profit Association and earmarked to provide equipment and medical supplies to those Staten Island organizations that are in need during this crisis,” said Dr. John Maese, Richmond County Medical Society (RCMS).
A key component of the website focuses on mental health resources for patients and wellness/self care for the health care providers themselves. In order for community health care professionals to effectively take care of their patients, they must be able to help themselves first, and make sure they are mentally and emotionally prepared to help their patients.
“COVID-19 is putting tremendous emotional strain both on the healthcare providers responding to the pandemic and to the larger community who are at risk of developing anxiety, depression and substance misuse. It’s important for health practitioners to have access to self-care tools and local behavioral health resources both for themselves and for their patients,” said Adrienne Abbate, Executive Director, Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness (SIPCW).
Medical professionals can access ongoing clinical trials and scientific papers, as well as research from around the world, which give guidance on how to manage and treat COVID-19 patients using best practices and lessons learned. Additionally, due to ever changing and numerous guidelines on testing and PPE being distributed across various sectors, the COVID-19 SI site provides a central portal to access guidance for use from agencies such as the CDC, NYC DOHMH and NYS DOH.
Through the website, health care providers can also make donations to support the COVID-19 response efforts of the Staten Island Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) / Medical Ecosystem (MES), a coalition managed by the Staten Island Not-For-Profit Association, in which the Office of Staten Island Borough President has an active role.