US-based healthcare network Northwell Health, which operates 23 hospitals and almost 800 outpatient facilities, has introduced a new initiative to deliver home care to Covid-19 patients.

The initiative comprises the COVID Ambulatory Resource Support (CARES) and the Coronavirus Related Outpatient Work Navigators (CROWN) programmes.

As part of the programmes, moderate to severe Covid-19 patients will be able to receive treatment without having to visit a hospital.

The initiative is intended to deliver treatment in the lowest-risk setting possible, as well as retain hospital capacity in case of a second wave of Covid-19 cases.

Northwell Health senior vice-president and deputy physician-in-chief Thomas McGinn said: “What we saw in the Covid surge was that 80 to 90% of people who were sick with the virus never went to a hospital.

“That included Covid patients who really required a higher level of care but were too scared to go. We created our Covid home-care programmes to make sure every patient gets the support they need.”

The programmes involve a variety of services for patients not requiring intensive care.

For mildly ill patients who lack required at home support, the CARES programme will offer care managers for proper nutrition and follow-up.

In case of patients who need considerable management and specialised medical information, the programme will provide primary care physicians step-by-step treatment guidance.

This guidance will include advice on scheduling a telehealth appointment, requirement for in-person visit and hospitalisation, among others.

For seriously ill patients, the CROWN programme will provide a near-hospital level of care, including sending a home care nurse and a phlebotomist to obtain blood sample for Covid-specific test, among other services.

CROWN will also offer home care to Covid-19 patients who have been discharged from the hospital but require further treatment.