CARING FOR THE ILL AT HOME
VISITING NURSE SERVICE OF NEW YORK
Founded in 1893, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) is one of the largest not-for-profit healthcare organisations in the United States. It focuses on promoting the health and wellbeing of patients and families by providing expert, cost-effective care in their homes and communities. Every day, VNSNY has nearly 40,000 patients in its care. We supported VNSNY during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
During spring 2020, New York City rapidly became the first United States epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of critically ill patients overwhelmed the city’s hospitals and hundreds died daily. More emergency department space needed to be repurposed as isolation zones every day.
To help alleviate strain at hospitals, VNSNY cared for ill and vulnerable New Yorkers, including those discharged from hospitals who had tested positive for COVID-19.
To protect its staff, the organisation sourced personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as critical equipment like pulse oximeters, thermometers, stethoscopes and disposable blood pressure cuffs. It set up a distribution system that helped staff access these supplies easily.
Early into the crisis, VNSNY established a Clinical Expert Response Team staffed by registered nurses. These took calls from field clinicians and healthcare workers about COVID-19 exposure and responded to general enquiries about PPE and other patient management protocols.
VNSNY pivoted to telehealth where appropriate, so that important care and health information could be gathered, assessed and applied to patient care plans while minimising direct contact.
served in 2020
as of October 2020
Photo credits: Header © Visiting Nurse Service of New York
Challenge: © Cartier Philanthropy / Cyril le Tourneur