Chief Executive COVID-19 Update: 22 May

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

Message from the Chief Executive

The relaxation of some COVID-19 restrictions has been welcomed by many; however, the reality is that the pandemic remains ahead of us. We need to maintain the dedicated and careful work that has been the hallmark of our response, stay strong in our processes, and continue to meet our targets for timely, high quality, and safe care.

It is easier to stay thorough, composed, and vigilant when supportive teams surround us, and when our colleagues deliver many positive examples of outstanding skill and dedication.

In this update, you’ll read about some of these examples, such as Michelle Paton, Clinical Lead Physiotherapist for Critical Care and Surgical Services across Monash Health. Michelle helped develop and deliver an online training course used by thousands in Australia and overseas.

There’s a story about our Head of Psychology, Adjunct Professor Melissa Casey, who led her team in establishing Call a Psychologist – a free and confidential service offering tangible and practical support to Monash Health employees.

Our people have been at the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 and, fittingly, they are at the forefront of a Monash Health fundraising appeal to support research into COVID-19 treatments. The appeal and the associated awareness campaign feature a range of our employees doing their part to raise the profile of this vital cause. Lending a hand to the campaign are nurses, doctors, allied health professionals, researchers, and patient services assistants.

Thank you, as always, for your unwavering dedication and commitment, they make a big difference to our patient and community health outcomes.

Andrew Stripp

Chief Executive

Key messages

Future employment stability payments

Last week we announced the Employment Stability Payment and back pay to eligible employees who may have been allocated a reduced number of shifts due to our response to COVID-19. Employees who are eligible and wish to receive this continued payment, until the restrictions on elective surgery are lifted, will need to complete the online Employment Stability Payment application form by Sunday 24 May 2020. Find out more here.

Monash Health launches fundraising appeal to support research into COVID-19 treatments

Monash Health employees feature in a fundraising appeal to support some of the ground-breaking research into COVID-19 treatments now underway at Monash Health. The first wave of the community appeal will see fundraising letters arrive at more than 330,000 Melbourne homes. Read about this impressive campaign here.

PPE applies to all MET Call and Code Blue incidents

As of Monday 18 May 2020, certain PPE requirements apply only to COVID-19 suspected or confirmed patients. For patients who are not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, some PPE is still required for all MET Call and Code Blue incidents, including surgical masks and protective eyewear. Read more here to stay up-to-date with PPE requirements.

Monash Pathology turn-around times

Monash Pathology continues to receive a large number of samples for COVID-19 PCR testing from inpatients, EDs, and screening clinics. Currently, the turn-around time is around 24 hours, but can be up to 48 hours. The laboratory is prioritising the testing of inpatients, emergency patients, and employees. Find out more here.

Digital images of prescriptions

During the COVID-19 response, prescribers in Victoria can transmit a digital image of a prescription for a Schedule 4 medicine, excluding drugs of dependence, to pharmacists. This will facilitate telehealth consultations and timely access to medicines. Read about this time-saving initiative here.


Employee Spotlight: Pharmacy 

With construction of the Casey Hospital Expansion Project complete, we are recognising and celebrating the many teams from across Monash Health who contributed. Patrick Lam, Assistant Deputy Director of Pharmacy at Casey Hospital, said having a dedicated counselling room, where patients can consult a pharmacist in a private setting, is a major improvement. Read about Patrick and his team’s great work here.

Michelle leads upskilling of physiotherapists

Michelle Paton was asked to develop an online training course for NSW Health physiotherapists. Within a week, she and her co-developer were presenting to 360 NSW physiotherapists. More than 2,200 clinicians have now viewed their Virtual ICU training course across Australia and 15 countries. Read more about their national and international success here.

Feeling anxious? It’s normal, and there are good things you can do

Understanding the likely psychological impacts of a crisis on healthcare workers, Monash Health Head of Psychology, Adjunct Professor Melissa Casey, and her team reached out to offer tangible and practical support as soon as the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic became clear. Find out how the service can help you or your colleagues here.

Have you taken action against influenza? 

Almost 83% of your colleagues have taken action against influenza, but we need to get to 100%. Now more than ever, it is vital that you do your part to protect yourself, your patients, your colleagues, your family, and our health care system. It’s quick and straightforward; find out what you need to do here.

Preparing for EMR system upgrade

As we move closer towards our Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system upgrade in the coming months, our testing team is busy working behind the scenes to ensure the fixes and enhancements will meet our operational needs. Read more about the developments coming soon here.

Giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic: a nurse’s story

Bonnie, a Monash Health Theatre Nurse and mum to toddler Jed, gave birth to his brother, Beau, in late April 2020. She shares her experience of what it was like to welcome a precious new member to the family during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read Bonnie’s story and see the gorgeous family pics here.

Movement is Medicine

Next week is Exercise Right Week, an awareness campaign led by exercise physiologists. The week is designed to help educate Australians about the importance of exercise for general health, and the prevention and management of a range of chronic conditions and injuries. Find out more about exercising right here.


Remember to take care of yourself: check out Southern Synergy’s online Mindfulness Program

All Monash Health employees are invited to join Southern Synergy’s weekly Mindfulness Program via Zoom every Wednesday from 2.30pm to 3.00pm. Find out how mindfulness can make a big difference to your  wellbeing here.

Please continue to prioritise your health and wellbeing. There is a range of resources available to you on the Monash Health employee website specifically tailored to our teams.


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 quicker, you can create a shortcut on your smartphone by following these instructions.

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.

As advice and information evolve, please consult the latest updates and visit the Department of Health and Human Services and Monash Health COVID-19 website for employees regularly for the latest.


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