Chief Executive COVID-19 Update: 22 April

Download the latest COVID-19 Chief Executive Update for your noticeboards.

Message from the Chief Executive 

Monash Health is currently treating four COVID-19 positive patients, three at Monash Medical Centre, and one at Dandenong Hospital. Our screening clinics have tested 8,888 people to date.

While we remain cautiously optimistic as new cases of COVID-19 slow, it remains more important than ever that we stay the course with precautionary measures. As you will have heard, the Federal government announced the slowing down of COVID-19 cases means health services can begin to reintroduce elective procedures. Monash Health is working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services to carefully plan for a phased introduction of elective procedures, taking into account access to care, availability of PPE, and overall employee and community health.

I’d like to direct your attention to the following key points.

Support your colleagues; return all scrubs now for laundering
Washable scrubs are hospital property, supplied for use in high-risk areas. They must be removed before leaving work. Please support your colleagues and return scrubs to the lime-green laundry bags at the end of every shift.

Capacity expanded at Dandenong
We are continuing to increase our operational capacity in line with our pandemic plan. As part of this preparation, we are planning to progressively re-purpose the Acute Assessment Unit at Dandenong Hospital into a dedicated COVID-19 intensive care unit. We have taken this step early to ensure we have the facilities and resources available if they are required.

Drive-in vaccination service is imminent
We are working to make vaccinations as accessible as possible to our community and employees and will be opening a drive-in vaccination clinic in the coming week at Clayton. As a reminder, flu vaccination is mandatory for all Monash Health employees, so please ensure you take the opportunity to safeguard yourself, our patients, and the community and attend a clinic or get your flu vaccination on-site.

As always, thank you for your dedication and support of our patients and each other.

Andrew Stripp
Chief Executive​

Key Messages

Return your scrubs
Washable scrubs are supplied for use in high-risk areas to add another layer of safety, above and beyond PPE requirements. To ensure scrubs remain readily available, it is crucial they are not removed from the hospital setting or stockpiled for personal use and returned at the end of every shift.

Support your colleagues by ensuring that:

  • all employees working in high-risk areas have access to scrubs in the right size range
  • they are handled safely after use and laundered promptly and correctly (place them in the lime-green laundry bags)
  • as part of the standard procedure, they are not taken out of the hospital setting and into the community.

Find out more here.

Important changes to visitation restrictions for end-of-life
We have made some changes to end-of-life visitation restrictions to support patients, families, and loved ones during these difficult times. While restrictions are loosened, we recognise they may still cause disappointment. However, they are necessary for the health and safety of our patients, visitors, employees, and communities.​

Please be aware of the following details for all end-of-life patients:

  • Patients nearing end-of-life, where death is imminent within hours, in any part of the health service, including residential care, are allowed two visitors at a time, at any time of day.
  • If under 16, only children and grandchildren of patients are allowed under the continuous, direct supervision of an adult.
  • Appropriate PPE will be required for visitors if the patient is suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

 Further details covering all visitation restrictions can be found here.

Drive-in vaccination service
One of the many services reshaped to meet the needs of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic is the new Monash Drive-In Vaccination Service, set to open on Clayton Road next week.

Based on models operating around the world, the new vaccination clinic makes vaccination services readily available to the community and our employees in a practical way. Find out more here.

Keep up to date with amendments in the EMR
There are essential EMR changes to support Monash Health’s Coronavirus Disease Procedure. Keeping the EMR up to date ensures the status and operational management of the patient is safe and effective for patients and health care workers. Find out more about the changes to the EMR and download supporting workflows here.

Amendments to PPE advice
We work to the latest advice regarding PPE to ensure the safety of our employees, our patients, and our community. Following the latest government advice, we will be updating our guidelines on PPE this week. Please ensure you familiarise yourself with this information and download the latest resources, which will be uploaded to the COVID-19 employee website soon.

Employee forums
Our weekly employee forums are designed to keep you informed of our operational response to COVID-19 and give you the opportunity to ask questions specific to your area. They are accessed via Webex, and an ongoing schedule is now available. Please ensure you and members of your team prioritise these.

Looking after yourself
As the changes in our home and work lives become our ‘new normal’, it is vital you prioritise your health and wellbeing. A range of resources is available to you here.

Ensure you are working to the most up-to-date advice
The information about COVID-19 is changing rapidly. Ensure you are working to the most up-to-date advice by referring to the Monash Health Employee Coronavirus website. To make accessing the site faster, you can create a shortcut on your smartphone by following these instructions.

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