These are strange times.
Coronavirus. Covid-19. Whatever you call it, it’s changed all of our lives in just a few days.
The wildfire virility of Covid-19 has not yet been bridled. We know it spreads easily—much easier than most seasonal flu. But because the virus is so new, we are forced to figure it out as we fight it back.
The Front Lines
For the people facing this firsthand—emergency room staff, doctors, nurses, health care administrators—it started weeks ago as they feverishly (excuse the pun) set up emergency command centers, equipped specially ventilated intensive care rooms and practiced putting on protective gear.
The practice is over. Now, the real thing. The pace can only pick up.
This is just one reason why we should follow CDC directions to stay home and to limit group interactions. We owe it to these pivotal people on the front lines to pitch in, to slow the spread of the virus. We can help them from becoming overwhelmed by pitching in, doing our part.
The Team-Based Approach
If you’ve read the NCQA blog at all, then you know how much we value teamwork. We constantly promote team-based care as the optimal approach on all levels to benefit patients, providers and payers. We suspect the best approach to the pandemic is team-based too.
We saw it when major health plans agreed to cover costs of diagnostic testing for the virus. That’s pitching in. That’s doing their part to slow the pace of the coronavirus explosion. America’s Health Plans (AHIP) actually is keeping a running tab of the health plans’ coronavirus coverage efforts. It’s worth the read.
We’ve seen the team approach elsewhere. Countless companies have instructed employees to stay at home when possible to slow the spread. NCQA is among them. We cut travel back two weeks ago. We’ve now encouraged our entire staff to work from home. Fortunately, we’ve built the infrastructure to make that work seamlessly. (So far so good.)
This is us doing our part. This is a team-based approach. We’re still investigating other ways to support the team. But for now, staying informed and staying home matter most.
Matt Brock is the Director of Communications at NCQA. After more than two decades working in broadcast journalism, Matt now leads NCQA’s efforts to develop unique content that engages and informs consumers as well as providers, plans and policymakers via this blog, our website, NCQA.org and numerous social media platforms. Matt’s goal is to educate consumers and to direct them to the best resources when considering quality in their health care decisions.