The covid-19 pandemic has produced many new occupational categories. One of them is the “virtual visitation coordinator,” a role that’s encouraged for New Jersey’s nursing homes. Executive Order 20-026 in Section I.7iv (at pages 4-5) describes the function and responsibilities of this person. Of course, this role may simply be added to the other responsibilities of somebody who’s already on staff.
The VVC is the primary contact to families for inbound calls, and is expected to conduct regular outbound calls to keep families up to date. Virtual communication between residents and interested people has to be arranged through phones, video-communications, etc. Listserves of families have to be maintained so that families can be notified no later than 5 PM of the next calendar day in case of a new confirmed COVID-19 infection or 3 new onsets of respiratory symptoms within 72 hours of each other. The facilities are expected to host virtual opportunities for call-ins, conferences or webinars to take questions from families and to update them on status within the facility.
Anyone who is overseeing the care of a person in a skilled nursing facility should get familiar with the requirements of Executive order 20-06, because it is explicit about all the steps an SNF has to take to move from one phase to another. These changes of status have enormous impact on the ability of families to visit their loved ones.8-20_ExecutiveDirectiveNo20-026_LTCResumption_of_Svcs
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