Chief Executive COVID-19 Update: 23 June

Message from the Chief Executive

The Victorian Government announced on Sunday that the State of Emergency in Victoria would be extended until 11.59pm on 19 July 2020.  Some restrictions that were scheduled to be eased have been tightened again due to an increase in Victorian case numbers, many of which have arisen from household contacts.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) – which includes all the state Chief Health Officers and is chaired by Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy, has advised against travel to and from Hume, Casey, Brimbank, Moreland, Cardinia and Darebin.

For us at Monash Health, this is directly relevant to us, as Cardinia and Casey are part of the community that we serve.

The numbers are small, but we need to be vigilant.  As we’ve seen overseas, even a handful of cases can turn into many – so we must remain disciplined with our safety measures.

What this means for us:

  • If you live in the designated areas think twice about unnecessary travel and activities outside your home.
  • As a health care worker, you are exempt from any restrictions that are or may be put in place so that you can attend work.
  • Due to an increased level of infection in these areas, we will, effective immediately, implement a change of practice so that all outreach services wear a surgical mask, i.e. Tier 0 PPE, for all visits to people in their homes within Casey and Cardinia.  This will allow for an initial assessment to be made under a level of precaution and the necessary PPE to be worn for the encounter.

Once again, I remind you all to remain vigilant with your physical distancing – no handshakes or hugs, and stay 1.5m apart. Maintain good hand hygiene, don’t share food or drinks, avoid crowds and do not attend work if you are unwell.  I appreciate this is hard and the extended period we are all having to modify our behaviour is challenging.  However, it is essential that we do so and that we help each other with this marathon effort.

And, finally, please remember if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please get tested.

Another important area of safety is cyber safety. Cybercriminals are capitalising on the
COVID-19 pandemic by sending fraudulent emails that could infect computers or lead to the theft of account details and personal information.

Don’t click on COVID-19 related links or attachments you receive via email or messaging apps, unless you are certain it’s coming from a trusted source. Reliable sources for information include our COVID-19 website for employees and the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Returning to work
To help protect those who must work on-site, you should continue to work from home if you can.

To prepare for a safe return to work when the time comes, tomorrow (Wednesday) we are running a Manager Forum on this topic and another one, for all employees, on Thursday.

Thanks again for your hard work and dedication, and let’s keep safety at the front of our minds.

Andrew Stripp
Chief Executive

Key Messages

EMR system upgrade – it’s coming! 

Our Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system upgrade is just around the corner. To ensure the EMR continues to meet our needs, we’re introducing a range of improvements and enhancements in the way we use the EMR and the data it captures. Read more here. 

Haematology/Ward 44 visitor update

From today, visitors will not be permitted for Ward 44 haematology patients. We understand this may cause disappointment, but the health and safety of our patients – who are particularly vulnerable – visitors, employees, and communities must be our top priority. This is a temporary measure until we relocate the service to the Medical Therapy Unit on Level 2. Read more here. 

PPE for outreach employees

In recent days, the number of positive COVID-19 cases has increased within Victoria. As there are active cases present in Cardinia Shire Council and the City of Casey; effective Monday 22 June, all Monash Health employees involved in outreach work that involves visiting people’s homes or workplaces in those two areas must wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) equivalent to Tier 0 – Surgical masksRead more here.

Warning: Computer Security Alert

The Australian Cyber Security Centre has observed an increase in COVID-19 themed malicious cyber activity. Cybercriminals are using trusted brands, like the World Health Organisation (WHO) to build credibility and entice users into opening attachments. Learn how to protect yourself here. 

Book in a ‘Give Me Five’ conversation

Give Me Five conversations are a chance for you to be empowered, engaged, and involved in decisions about your role and future goals and objectives. Learn more here.

Log in to LATTE and complete your mandatory and targeted training

There is just over one week left to log in to LATTE and complete your mandatory and targeted training by 1 July 2020. Learn more here.

Nominate the STARs in your team

Nominations for STAR Awards close next week (30 June), so recognise your colleagues by nominating them. Read more here.

More ways to achieve 100% PPE training by 1 July 2020

To help our patient-facing employees complete their PPE training, face-to-face WebEx sessions commenced this week. This means that those who are not able to attend the daily 2pm sessions in person can access face-to-face training via WebEx meetings. Read more here.

Vaccination or declaration is mandatory

The annual influenza vaccination or declaration by all Monash Health employees is mandatory. The vaccination is the most effective way to prevent infection and, so far, more than 85% of employees have done so. Read more here, including Q & A from a recent Employee Forum.

Remember to take care of yourself

Please continue to prioritise your health and wellbeing. There are resources available to you on the Monash Health employee website that are 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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