As of 8:00am today, Monash Health is treating nine COVID-19 positive patients; five at Monash Medical Centre, three at Dandenong Hospital and one at Casey Hospital. Our screening clinics have tested 5,413 people.
In addition, a Monash Health employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee felt unwell and followed the correct protocol by not coming into work. They self-isolated while awaiting test results, which came back positive. All patients, colleagues, and those who came into contact with the employee have been notified and are now self-isolating. The employee’s action of not presenting to work and the prompt notification and self-isolation of everyone was exemplary. The infection prevention team is working with the area to review practice.
I do not share this news to increase stress or anxiety, but to be transparent in our processes and remind everyone of the need to focus on PPE.
Work continues, with updates daily on how to ensure you stay safe and able to continue to deliver considerate, high-quality, and compassionate care through these uncertain times. It is essential you read this update, share it with your teams, and go to the coronavirus.monashhealth.org website for the latest.
These are the updates I wish to focus your attention on today.
As case numbers rise, it is critical we all have clarity around the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Yesterday I shared guidance about the use of PPE at Monash Health and the importance of using the right level of protection in the right situation in the right way. This guidance was developed by a panel of Monash Health experts based on best practices.
We have now updated that guidance to provide further clarity around Maternity, Code Blue, and MET calls. The details are below.
The newly opened facilities in Casey will ensure we can rise to the challenge and rapidly respond to an increase in COVID-19 patients, safely and sequentially. Further details will be available soon.
Your health and wellbeing
We will continue to support your safety and wellbeing through services and resources which can be accessed online through Monash Care and the Employee Assistance Program for you and your family on 1300 687 327. There is also the ‘Call a Psychologist’ service delivered by Monash Health Psychologists for Monash Health employees.
Thank you. While I say it often, I do want to reiterate how appreciative and aware I am of the work you are all doing in a changing and challenging environment.
· New wards at Casey increase COVID-19 response capacity: The Health Incident Command Team, with the support of the Operations Steering Committee and budget from the State government, has implemented the opening of the new clinical areas at Casey Hospital. Preparing these areas and hiring resources will ensure a rapid and appropriate response for any increase in numbers of COVID-19 positive patients requiring intensive care. We look forward to sharing details in the coming days.
· UPDATE: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The latest advice for PPE use includes the four tiers of protection, PPE use in Maternity, during MET calls, and Code Blue. Ensure you know how to keep yourself, your patients, and colleagues safe without unnecessary wastage of PPE. Attend training and access the latest information on the COVID-19 website.
· Further visitor restrictions and signage are now in effect. We understand that this will be difficult and challenging for family and friends. Please explain kindly and professionally that these restrictions will save lives. Ensure you know the latest restrictions in your area; find out more and replace outdated posters with the ones supplied on the COVID-19 website ‘resources’ page.
· The screening of visitors is now taking place. All visitors to Monash Health are now directed to the main entrance at each site and will be screened before entry. Employees and contractors will not be screened. Employees can still gain regular access across our sites using their swipe cards. For the safety of all, direct visitors to the main entrance. Find out more here.
· NEW: Patient alerts in the EMR for known and suspected COVID-19 cases. To support the management of COVID-19 suspected and known patients, there are some important changes on the EMR to enable safe and effective care. Find out more here.
· Before posting, remember our Social Media Policy at Monash Health. We understand you may wish to share your COVID-19 experience on social media accounts. However, remember always to follow the Monash Health social media policy. Remind yourself of the policy here.
· Get the most out of working from home or remotely. Quickly access what you need to set you up and get working remotely here.
· Remember to clean your smartphone. Handy advice on how to clean your smartphones and devices without damaging them can be found here.
· We need your help! We are calling for clinical skills. Nurses, Midwives, Allied Health practitioners, and health professionals who are clinically trained but not currently working in a clinical role can register their interest to support workforce planning for our COVID-19 response. For further information and to fill in the workforce mobilisation profile, go to the employee COVID-19 website ‘news’ page.
· Helpful resources are at your fingertips. Be sure to use the latest signage, posters, and resources and regularly check as advice changes. Find the latest resources on the COVID-19 employee website ‘resources’ page.
· Health and wellbeing support and services for Monash Health employees: During this time, we understand and appreciate the pressure on employees working in the healthcare system. Health and wellbeing support and resources can be found on the employee COVID-19 website ‘health and wellbeing’ page.
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.