Two weeks have passed since the World Health Organisation classified COVID-19 as a pandemic. During this period, the disease epicentre moved from China to Europe, and we have seen governments across the globe taking unprecedented measures to slow down the spread of the disease while strengthening the national healthcare systems to cope with the challenge.
You should know that Diaverum navigates this crisis with strength, determination and, most importantly, with a thorough plan.
We have been preparing since January for a scenario that the COVID-19 outbreak will impact our countries. We assigned a crisis management team early on and mobilised our global organisation to roll out our contingency plans focusing on three outcomes:
"Safeguarding the health and safety of our patients and staff, ensuring operational continuity, and supporting our clinical staff."
In parallel, we are collaborating with different national healthcare authorities to provide support and develop joint contingency plans for the management of renal patients who will contract the disease.
Safeguarding the health and safety of our patients and staff
Our clinics already operate with new stringent protocols to minimise the risk of contagion, allow for quick identification of patients or staff with symptoms and ensure the right referral of each case. We are introducing measures to keep our patients at a safe distance from each other and avoid unnecessary interactions between patients or patients and staff. These measures include cancelling unnecessary activities, establishing different entry and exit patient routes, ensuring appropriate patient distance in waiting areas and revisiting patient transportation conditions.
Moreover, we are implementing rigorous triage procedures to identify suspected patients before entering the clinic, and we are getting prepared to treat patients with COVID-19 in safe, isolated and controlled environments. We have also instituted specific patient education programs for prevention of respiratory infections and COVID- 19.
Our medical leadership is following the pandemic closely and driving the rollout of our contingency plans, while closely supervising any COVID-19 incidents through our digital renal management system and continuous interaction with countries.
“You should know that Diaverum navigates this crisis with strength, determination and, most importantly, with a thorough plan.”
Ensuring operational continuity
While rolling out our clinics’ contingency plans, we asked all our corporate and non-clinical functions to work from home, taking advantage of our well invested IT infrastructure. By doing so, we both contributed to the international cause to flatten the curve, and we kept our teams operational to continue providing seamless support to our clinics, which is needed now more than ever.
In the context of borders closing, disrupted supply chains and unprecedented global demand for protective equipment, we have strengthened our procurement task force to ensure a timely flow of dialysis and protective equipment supplies to our clinics across the globe.
Moreover, we are fortunate to be in a strong financial position and we have taken all measures to secure adequate liquidity to keep the business safe in an uncertain environment.
Supporting our clinical staff
In these moments, our thoughts are mainly with our clinical staff, our valued doctors and nurses who work hard to establish all the new protocols and keep our patients safe from the pandemic, while offering our patients the same compassionate service.
Together with our gratitude and our highest appreciation, we are announcing country-specific programs to support them in these challenging times. Among others, we are introducing extra compensation schemes, counselling support and various ways to facilitate individual needs varying from childcare support to temporary accommodation.
Collaborating with the national healthcare systems
Lastly, during this crisis, we consider it as our duty of care and our social responsibility to support the national healthcare systems managing the upcoming challenge of more dialysis patients requiring hospitalisation. For this reason, we have been engaging with different national healthcare authorities to develop joint contingency plans and support public hospitals to manage excessive hospitalisation needs.
As a result, in different countries we have assisted governments by taking over chronic patients, so they can assign public clinics exclusively for COVID-19 patients, or rearranged our patients within our clinics’ network to assign dedicated clinics for infected patients.
In other countries, we made available dialysis infrastructure to set up clinics or, like in the case of Portugal, we made available a fully equipped clinic to strengthen the public sector’s capacity to cope with the increased hospitalisation demand.
In every situation, we work closely and in partnership with the local authorities to serve our dialysis patients.
Dear team, this is indeed an unprecedented situation, and we will be without doubt facing very challenging times ahead, but we are prepared. We have a solid plan, the right medical leadership, a strong clinical governance DNA and the best healthcare professionals globally.
The above, combined with our strong financial position and our professional country leadership, makes me very confident that we will navigate out of this crisis stronger.
Now, more than ever, let’s all keep working with strength and determination.
We are on a noble mission!
Dimitris Moulavasilis, Chief Executive Officer Diaverum