With the uncertainty we are all facing, Averhealth has put the safety of our patients and staff at the forefront of our COVID-19 Action Plan. Averhealth provides an essential health benefit that is even more critical in the current high stress environment across all of our communities. State mandates preclude Essential Critical Infrastructure and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has provided guidance to ensure that substance use disorder treatment services are uninterrupted during this public health emergency – a duty we will strive to fulfill.
Given the importance of our collective efforts to keep clients safe and healthy, we have implemented numerous efforts, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, that enable us to continue to safely care for clients. We have:
- Ensured proper use of personal protective equipment (e.g. gloves, masks)
- Required increased and proper handwashing procedures of all staff, as well as temperature and symptom checks for both staff and clients
- Increased Patient Care Center (PCC) cleaning and sanitation
- Ceased conducting breath alcohol testing
- Promoted social distancing, including:
- Encouraging clients to visit during slow times
- A text-upon-arrival check-in process for clients, where applicable
- Clients are asked to wait in their cars or outside and are notified when to enter a facility to test
- Limiting the number of clients in a facility to 10 or less
- All chairs in our waiting areas are 6 feet apart
- No outside visitors are allowed in a facility other than those required to test
Today, more than ever, your clients deserve evidence-based practices that are delivered in a manner designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Since 1995, Averhealth has delivered the highest quality care and continues to do so in this difficult period. The effective steps outlined above help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and allow the use of evidence-based practices proven to help clients develop coping and refusal skills to new drug and alcohol use events. Practices that include daily notification, random selection, directly observed collections, and at least two (2) tests per week have proven to help interrupt the behavior chain by stopping new use cravings.
We believe that in times like this, it is more important than ever to adhere to evidence-based practices proven to position patients for success. Averhealth is focused on our mission of reclaiming lives, uniting families, and strengthening communities.
It is important that we, together with our partners, continue to help patients develop coping and refusal skills. We are adjusting our PCC hours for sample collections based on customer requests and the notification line will stay open throughout this time. Even in cases where testing has been paused, we are recommending to our customers that their clients continue using the notification line. Our analytics show that a daily, 30-second check-in helps to disrupt triggering events and can serve as a means to remotely monitor your clients.
By maintaining our PCC and laboratory hours, we are ensuring that patients have the best possible chance to avoid new use events, keeping families together. Our staff across the country has implemented the necessary precautions to limit spread of the coronavirus, including increased handwashing, wearing new gloves for each collection, and frequent PCC cleaning and sterilization.
Averhealth takes seriously our commitment to the communities we serve. We are working with each community we serve to provide continued care. As our staff is required to address childcare needs due to school closures, we are accommodating competing schedule demands as best we can.
“I would like to take a few moments to thank Averhealth for your continued services during this pandemic. As I reported to my Grant administrator, Rock County Human Services and the court teams are very thankful that throughout all of this, drug testing services have remained consistent, with no gaps in the service. Drug testing is a huge component to treatment courts and also helps us tailor treatment interventions appropriately. I also greatly appreciate Averhealth’s variety of ways to keep our clients and staff safe during this time. For example, the text messaging service has been a huge benefit to only allowing one participant in the office at a time, in order to reduce exposure and keep everyone safe and healthy. In our programs, we are continuing all treatment virtually, and I fully believe that being able to continue drug testing services during this time is crucial for treatment and for our clients. It has allowed us to continue to remain informed on substances that clients may be using in order to respond with therapeutic adjustments and sanctions/rewards in court. I do feel that without drug testing some clients may take advantage of the situation and this would lead clients back down the path of drug use. In fact, we have had some clients share that would be the case if we did not continue to require drug testing during this time. It has allowed our program to continue to hold clients accountable. Thank you all for your continued service in our program.” Tiffany Minguey – Rock County Treatment Court Services
We appreciate all that our partners, employees, and patients are doing. Everyone has come together to limit the spread of this virus during this uncertain – but temporary – time. Please take care of your families, your patients, and yourselves. Thank you for your trust in us. We’re in this together, so let us know if there’s anything we can do to help.
For more information about how Averhealth is safely administering drug test during this crisis, click here.
Jason Herzog, CEO