TRACS WA are hosting a new COVID-19 Rehab Community of Practice (CoP).
In early May, 30 invitations were sent out and 25 people have opted in to form the ‘core’ of the CoP. It is not intended to be an exclusive group and anyone who is interested/has relevant skills/knowledge is very welcome to join.
The two main intended purposes of this CoP are:
1. To better understand, and prepare for, the rehabilitation needs of people who are recovering from COVID-19.
2. To share information about, and support the delivery of, high quality rehabilitation in a COVID-19 restricted health service environment.
Since there have only been a small number of cases in WA, and many were from overseas or inter-state and have not stayed in WA once they were fit to travel, there has not yet been much call for rehabilitation of people recovering from COVID-19 infection locally. Anecdotal reports from inter-state and overseas suggest that many people are not getting referred to rehabilitation from acute services, even though they are still experiencing some ongoing health issues or functional impairment.
There are also reports of patients getting transferred to rehabilitation after 6-8 weeks in ICU who are very deconditioned and are exhibiting a range of symptoms including critical care neuropathy and myopathy, respiratory problems, fatigue, and immobility etc. If we start to get large numbers of such referrals in WA, this will require a sharing of skills, particularly between staff working in the areas of neurological, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation.
The second purpose of the CoP is to share resources and expertise about providing virtual rehabilitation services, due to COVID-19 related restrictions, and also to consider how to safely de-escalate considering ways to manage risk (e.g. physical distancing, PPE, additional cleaning, screening of outpatients and those receiving services at home or in the community). The group has established a Yammer community to share ideas and resources.