At American Health Partners, our highest priority is to safely care for and protect our residents, patients, visitors and staff. In our AHC-American Health Communities, Unity Psychiatric Care hospitals and all other division locations, we are taking every possible precaution to prevent infections by the coronavirus.
On October 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Tennessee Department of Health updated safety guidelines for nursing homes. Facilities may now allow in-person visits and certain resident activities if they have been free of COVID-19 cases in staff and residents for 14 consecutive days. Many of our facilities have met these guidelines and are scheduling brief outdoor visits with residents by appointment. However, if new cases of the virus occur in a facility, in-person visits and some resident activities will unfortunately be suspended until the guidelines are met once again. Contact your local AHC office to find out its current visitation availability and process.
We recognize this has been a difficult time for everyone and appreciate your continued trust and support as we take every possible step to ensure a safe environment for everyone.
We will continue to practice very extensive protocols for testing, isolating and treating any resident who may contract COVID-19. Our staff is well prepared to provide the best treatment possible, while also stopping the virus from spreading to other residents or staff. We will continue to stay in regular contact with national, state and local authorities to ensure we are following latest CDC guidelines for screening, testing and infection control. Some of the actions we have implemented are outlined below..
How We’re Protecting Residents, Patients and Employees
Extensive Testing and Screening
- Testing all residents and employees in our Tennessee skilled nursing facilities as required by the state’s Long-Term Care Testing Initiative.
- Screening everyone for fever who must enter our buildings.
- Testing all new patients and residents for COVID-19 and keeping those individuals isolated until test results are returned, usually within 24-48 hours.
- Screening residents for fever at every shift change, and more frequently if there has been a positive case.
- Screening employees returning from trips before allowing them to return to work.
- Increasing disinfection of frequently touched surfaces.
- Prohibiting visits from friends and family, except in end-of-life situations.
- Suspending group activities in our buildings.
- Maintaining social distance at meals and having everyone wear masks when interacting with others
- Emphasizing proper hand washing and sneeze and cough etiquette.
- Discontinuing self-service hydration stations.
- Halting all business travel.
- Encouraging use of technology to replace face-to-face meetings.
Equipment and Staffing
- Maintaining an adequate supply of personal protective equipment like masks, gloves, etc.
- Keeping staff updated and trained on all sanitation, disinfection and prevention practices recommended by the CDC.
- Requiring staff to remain at home if they have any symptoms of an illness or have a family member with symptoms or exposure.
Helpful Resources for Employees (Click here)
How We're Communicating with Families
- We are notifying families about visitation options as they occur.
- Each resident or patient has an appointed staff advocate who updates designated family members on the individual’s well-being weekly or more often, if needed.
- Facility leaders are staying in touch with resident’s loved ones via phone, mail and email.
- We notify families within 12 hours of confirming any new case of COVID-19 our community, while continuing to protect patient and staff privacy.
- Regular postings on Facebook help keep us connected with families, friends and neighbors. Follow us at Facebook.com/AmericanHealthCommunities.
- Staff members help connect family members with our residents/patients via phone calls, video chats and social media. All AHC communities have computer tablets available for video chat. Many of our facilities also provide technology to access social media and video chat access through our ARTS program.
More Information Sources
Tennessee COVID-19 Public Information Hotlines:
833-556-2476 & 877-857-2945
Available 10 AM – 10 PM CST Daily
Alabama COVID-19 24/7 Hotline:
Call for testing sites and hours of operation.
- World Health Organization's COVID-19 Page
- CDC - The Centers for Disease Control's COVID-19 Page
- Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19
- Teladoc COVID-19
- Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 Page
- Tennessee COVID-19 Testing Sites by County
- Alabama Department of Health
- Long-Term Care Initiative