We are entering a critical time in our COVID-19 response. Our primary focus now must be to provide the care that is necessary for our community and do this without compromising safety. This means the way we operate is changing. These changes are occurring daily and sometimes even multiple times a day.
I want to reassure you that none of these changes are being made lightly and that they are necessary for the evolving conditions we now face. Every decision we all make must be based on the latest advice about an evolving situation. That is why you must stay up to date using credible information sources.
Today it is a priority that every employee creates a shortcut to the Monash Health COVID-19 employee website on their smartphone. This website is specifically for Monash Health employees and can be found at coronavirus.monashhealth.org.
The information is changing too rapidly for you to rely on word-of-mouth, posters, or printed materials alone. You need to check back regularly to stay on top of what you need to do.
If you are a Manager, you must discuss updates and changes with your teams and ensure they are kept informed. If COVID-19 response and management is not a standing agenda item for your meetings, stand-ups, and handovers, it must be from today. Use my Chief Executive updates as a starting point and supplement them with specifics for your area’s response to COVID-19.
We must all play our part to be as prepared as possible. We are in this together and can only succeed if we act together.
Key messages Friday 27 March
- It is essential that you are trained in and familiar with the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Resources and information have been prepared, including up-to-date advice on the use of PPE, updated video for the application and removal of PPE, and refresher training. Keep yourself, your patients and colleagues safe; Access the latest information on the COVID-19 website ‘Protecting yourself and others page’
- Remember physical distancing rules. Keep 1.5m space between you and others. You will see signs going up concerning maximum numbers in lifts and meeting rooms. It is essential that you follow these rules and, where you see them not adhered to, gently remind people of the importance of doing so.
- It’s your responsibility to stay up-to-date and ensure you are working on the most relevant advice. Create a shortcut to the employee coronavirus.monashhealth.org site on your smartphone and check the latest information during handovers, breaks, or remotely. Instructions can be found here or on the left menu of the site. Your manager will provide updates as they come to hand; ensure you discuss these with them, and consult with them if you have any questions.
- Important updates to visitation restrictions have been made today. Ensure you know the latest restrictions, summarised on the employee COVID-19 website ‘visitation updates’ page. Replace outdated posters with the ones supplied on the COVID-19 ‘resources page’.
- Public access has been restricted to a single entrance at all our sites. Employees can still gain regular access using their swipe cards. Employee access is for employees only. For the safety of all, direct visitors to the main entrance. Find out more here.
- If you suspect you have COVID-19 or have been in close, unprotected contact with someone who has it is imperative you are screened. We have established employee screening sessions at our screening clinics. Details can be found on the COVID-19 employee website ‘employee testing’ page.
- The current situation requires a change to remote working for some employees. Access resources and information to help you get started, work productively, and stay well on the COVID-19 employee website ‘working from home’ page.
- Accreditation 2020 Update. Following our request, we have been informed that the National Standards accreditation surveys scheduled for June 2020 (Monash Health) and July 2020 (Jessie McPherson Private Hospital), will be postponed until we have entered the ‘recovery’ phase of the pandemic (as determined by the government). This is to ensure we can direct the resources and attention we need to responding to COVID-19. Further information can be found here.
- Accessing Kronos remotely. Instructions and downloadable forms are available for managers and employees who are working remotely on the COVID-19 employee website ‘working from home-toolkits’ page.
- Follow medication administration protocol at all times. We want to remind all clinical employees that regardless of the challenges we are facing, prescribing, or administering medication against guidelines is not permitted.
- As per the Federal Government’s recent announcement and advice, Sacred Spaces, Chapels, and Prayer Rooms across Monash Health sites are now closed until further notice. You can find out more and read about alternative options available here.
- Self-care is critical at this time. Please consult the resources available to support you and go to the Monash Care tab on the intranet, always reach out to your manager and colleagues. You may also wish to access the headtohealth.gov.au website from the Victorian Government for COVID-19-specific support resources.
All managers are requested to share these updates with their teams and discuss at stand-ups and handovers. Please print a copy and display it in communication books and on employee noticeboards.