News & Events

COVID-19 Support Kits provide peace of mind to patients

Bangor, Maine (December 6, 2021)—The Emergency Care team at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has a new tool to help patients who receive a COVID-19 diagnosis but are able to be safely discharged from the Emergency Department.

Upon leaving the Emergency Department (ED), each patient diagnosed with COVID-19 receives a COVID-19 Support Kit to help provide information, comfort, and support during their recovery. The kit contains a pulse oximeter to monitor blood oxygen levels, a thermometer, masks, and hand sanitizer to minimize viral spread as the patient quarantines at home. Also included in this kit is a log for patients to monitor their body temperature and blood oxygen levels, with comprehensive instructions on how to use the equipment and what to do if their symptoms worsen or their results are out of range.

In addition to the kit, within two days of discharge, each patient receives a call from a nurse at the Medical Center who checks in and answers any questions they may have. Depending on the severity of the patient’s symptoms, a nurse will continue to follow up at regular intervals to monitor their recovery.

The Support Kit program is an effective way to help manage disease with an unpredictable progression like COVID-19. With the kit and regular contact from a skilled nurse, patients can access support from their homes, many times decreasing their need for additional emergency care. The kits are also intended to reduce patient anxiety by giving them the tools to monitor their vital signs as they quarantine.

Tiffany Tscherne, RN, DNP, FACHE, associate vice president, Northern Light Emergency Department, says the kits help provide peace of mind for patients. “This is a disease that is leaving so many feeling powerless and fearful for what the future holds once they are given the COVID-19 diagnosis in the ED,” she says. “The COVID support kits help combat this hopeless feeling. They leave the ED knowing they are not alone because they walk out knowing we are going to call to support them and be with them every step of the way.”

To date, the Medical Center has distributed more than 250 kits since launching in September.