With more than 300 locations across the United States and 25 new franchises added in 2019, BrightStar Care laid the foundation for a major expansion in 2020. Then came Covid-19. By Jessica Jones
With more than 300 locations across the United States and 25 new franchises added in 2019, BrightStar Care laid the foundation for a major expansion in 2020. Then came Covid-19.
While plans for expansion remain underway, the pandemic prompted BrightStar Care to focus inward, with even greater emphasis on the safety of clients and employees.
“We began sourcing personal protective equipment that very first week of March – reaching out to vendors and partners nationwide – giving us time for the equipment to arrive before it truly needed to be put to use,” says Shelly Sun, BrightStar Care’s founder and CEO. The goal was to make sure franchisees had the proper PPE to continue operations while ensuring the safety of their clients and employees, she says.
The result: almost 100,000 N95 masks, 10,000 goggles, 20,000 face shields and close to 1 million gloves.
With the health of BrightStar Care agency’s staff, their families and clients a top priority, all caregivers were allowed to choose whether they wanted to care for patients with the virus. Those who elected to work with symptomatic patients also had to be deemed fit to wear masks by a physician. They then entered a respirator program BrightStar Care implemented to ensure proper fit, storage and use of N95 masks.
Caregivers treating asymptomatic clients received face shields, standard surgical masks and optional protective clothing covers and gloves.
Home care also followed new protocols as BrightStar Care made use of technology to screen all caregivers and nurses. Before entering clients’ homes or beginning a shift, all caregivers must fill out online questionnaires about their health to validate they don’t have Covid-19 symptoms and haven’t recently been in contact with anyone with the virus.
“While much of these changes have been a direct result of Covid-19, the heightened safety precautions will likely continue to develop in hopes of bringing a greater sense of comfort to the care regimen of our clients,” Sun says.
For more information about the BrightStar Care franchise, visit brightstarfranchising.com.
– Jessica Jones