Chief Executive COVID-19 Update: 12 April

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Message from the Chief Executive 

The extent and breadth of change occurring at Monash Health in past months have been remarkable. The way in which our many teams have come together to problem-solve, design, and implement change has and continues to be exceptional. With the reported impact of the slowing of COVID-19 infections in the community and the associated low presentations, it is essential that we continue to use this time to train, secure supplies, and consolidate the changes to our clinical and non-clinical workflows.

Two important changes have occurred recently; changes to Code Blue and MET Call procedures as well as the model of care for people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are not familiar with these changes, I urge you to go to our COVID website or my recent bulletins. These changes will also be discussed repeatedly over the coming week to ensure all are familiar with the protocols.

It is also essential to be mindful that the vast majority of our patients are seeking the treatment and care of Monash Health for non-COVID-19 related conditions and that our standard of care must be maintained. This is, of course, the case for people who are suspected or confirmed with COVID-19, some of whom require our care irrespective of their COVID-19 related status.

I would ask you to be ever vigilant about the care we are providing and ensure that our standards are maintained. Our Chief Medical Officer and our Executive Director of Quality and Safety among many of our senior clinicians will be increasingly focused on supporting our clinical teams to that end.

Monash Health is currently treating five COVID-19 positive patients, three at Monash Medical Centre (two in ICU), and two at Dandenong Hospital (one in ICU). Our screening clinics have reviewed 11,093 people and tested 7,226 people to date, with 150 people testing positive for COVID-19.

At the end of last week, a member of the Monash Health clinical team was diagnosed with COVID-19. Usual protocols have been followed with that person moving into isolation and all close contacts requiring quarantine contacted. Thanks again to the people involved who rapidly acted and did not attend the workplace when symptoms evolved.

There are eight Monash Health employees who have had a positive diagnosis of COVID-19, with two most likely arising at the workplace and six from overseas travel or direct contact with a COVID-19-positive individual out of the workplace. One person has been cleared to return to work this week with all but one (the most recent) expected to return to work in the coming week. There are currently ten health care workers who are close contacts of a known case in quarantine. They have not developed symptoms, have not tested positive to COVID-19, and will return to work after the 14 day period unless they become COVID-19 positive.

PPE supply continues to be adequate for current requirements with the focus on securing long term supplies in preparation for any surge in demand, particularly as it relates to face shields and N95 masks suitable for employees with a smaller facial structure.

Thank you to those of you working over the Easter long weekend. 

Andrew Stripp
Chief Executive

Key Messages

Important changes to MET Call, Code Blue for COVID-19

When responding to a MET call or Code Blue, you must now assume every patient is COVID-19 positive and protect yourself with the appropriate tier of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) before providing care. Find out more here.

Updates to Model of Care

We have commenced changing the way we admit our planned and emergency patients to hospital in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out the latest here.

Scrubs for patient-facing employees in high risk and COVID-19 positive areas

We are introducing a special scrubs initiative for patient-facing employees in high risk and COVID-19 related areas. Please read more here.

Important EMR updates

A range of changes have been implemented in the EMR to support our plan for the clinical management of COVID-19 suspected or positive patients. More information is available here.

Workforce mobilisation

The Workforce Mobilisation team manages the potential reassignment of employees where their additional skills may be required to assist in critical need areas such as ICU, Support Services, and Emergency Departments. To understand more of the work of this team, click here.

Admission Procedure on PROMPT

Further to the Model of Care Update provided recently, please take the time to review the new Admission Procedure on PROMPT here.

Signs to support visitor restrictions

You will begin to see signs outside our main entrances, which will continue to push the key messages around visitor restrictions. For more information about this signage and what we need you to do, please click here.

Latest news on leave arrangements

We have updated the leave entitlements questions and answers on the Monash Health COVID-19 employee website, to help employees and managers have conversations and put in place the most appropriate arrangements for teams and individuals. For information, click here.

World Health Organisation endorsed research trial into COVID-19

Monash Health employees are invited to take part in a World Health Organisation endorsed research trial to investigate whether a Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine can help reduce the impact of COVID-19. For information, click here.

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