Chief Executive COVID-19 Update: 12 August

Message from the Chief Executive

As of today, we have:

  • 21 COVID-19 positive inpatients, including two in ICU.
  • 13 employees with COVID-19. They are in isolation at home and doing well.
  • 55 employees in precautionary quarantine.

The safety and wellbeing of our employees and our patients is our number one priority.

Personal Protective Equipment Expert Advisory Committee
Today I have convened a PPE expert advisory committee to further strengthen our safety program.

The committee will be chaired by our Executive Director Medical Services and comprise people in clinical and clinical support roles.

The committee will report to our Health Service Incident (Pandemic) Command team and provide advice to ensure we remain up to date with best practice, based on evidence and Infection Prevention advice. The group will also receive reports on health care worker infections, to understand how we can improve our practice, just as we do with any adverse event.

Revised PPE tiers – familiarise yourself with and download the updated poster today
As the pandemic evolves, we will continue to refine our approaches to PPE. The revised PPE tiers have been developed from the latest advice and in consultation with senior clinicians and infection prevention experts.

Please download the poster and familiarise yourself and your team with the updated tiers. The requirements may have changed in your area, and it is critical you follow the latest advice. Nominate a team member to remove outdated PPE information and replace it with the revised poster.

An update to the management of emergency surgical patients during COVID-19 at Monash Health
Thanks to the work of Dr Andrew Silvers in our Department of Anaesthesia and Mr Al Saunder, Program Director, we have revised our emergency surgery process to ensure timely care in emergency surgery while ensuring employees are protected through a reduction in risk exposure and use of appropriate PPE.

Please familiarise yourself with the revised emergency surgical patient flowchart and intra-operative/procedural process and PPE requirements.

Thank you again for your commitment to our community, our patients and each other.

Andrew Stripp
Chief Executive

Key Messages

Revised PPE tiers – familiarise yourself with and download the updated poster today

Our  revised PPE tiers have been developed from the latest advice and in consultation with senior clinicians and infection prevention experts. Please download the poster and familiarise yourself and your team with tiers.

An update to the management of emergency surgical patients during COVID-19 at Monash Health
Following collaboration and consultation, Monash Health has revised our emergency surgery process steps to ensure timely care while ensuring employees are protected. Please familiarise yourselves with the revised emergency surgical patient flowchart and intra-operative/procedural process and PPE requirements here.

Revised COVID-19 admission procedure for older or disabled inpatients NOT from aged care facilities

The inpatient admission procedure has been revised to clarify the requirement for droplet precautions for all aged care facility admissions (regardless of COVID-19 status). This only applies to registered aged care facilities (nursing homes). It does not apply to patients presenting from Retirement Homes, Disability Support Accommodation, or Supported Residential Services (SRS).

We are monitoring confirmed cases in these facilities within our catchment area. If the situation changes, we will adjust our procedures as required. Please familiarise yourself with the revised process, which can be found on PROMPT.

New funding to increase capacity and reach for mental health services

We welcomed the Victorian Government announcement on Sunday of the provision of $59.7 million in new funding to strengthen the capacity of clinical and community mental health services across Victoria. Funding was also announced for mental health counselling and support for nurses, midwives, and personal care workers. Find out more here.

Managing emotional fatigue – how to stay on top of it

Between one third to half of our healthcare workers will experience emotional fatigue. The nature of our job makes us more susceptible to this kind of fatigue. There are different types of emotional fatigue, some of which we may not even realise we are experiencing.

These include:

  • Vicarious trauma
  • Compassion fatigue
  • Burnout

We can manage potential emotional fatigue by identifying if we are at a higher risk, what the triggers are, and keeping an eye out for symptoms. In doing this, it is important to turn your mind to both your work environment and your personal life. You can find more information about triggers and symptoms in Lauren Stapleton’s presentation on this topic. Read more here.

Workplace Wellness Virtual Festival – free tickets to Victorian residents

The 2020 Workplace Wellness Festival is being conducted online on 18 and 19 August 2020. The Festival brings together more than 120 experts and organisations, such as R U OK?, health funds, technology companies and various universities. It is an opportunity to meet people who are changing the way we stay happy, healthy and productive in the workplace.

With topics ranging from resilience in challenging times to adjusting to remote working to financial wellbeing, the Festival is a great opportunity to hear from experts in the field about challenges we may currently be facing. Due to the current climate in Victoria, the Festival is offering free tickets to Victorian residents.

To learn more about the event, you can visit their website. You can download the program here and register for free on the Workplace Wellness Festival website.

Mental Health Week art competition is back

This year we celebrate Mental Health Week between 5 and 11 October and the much-loved annual art competition is back after a year’s hiatus.

The competition is open to all past, and present consumers, families, carers and Mental Health Program employees, and we invite you to submit up to two pieces of art for this year’s competition. Read more about the voting categories, prizes and how to enter here.

Respecting privacy

Monash Health employee records, including health records, must only be accessed when required as part of your job. We have systems in place to monitor and control access to employee information, so please only access records in line with your duties. Read our Employee Privacy Procedure for more details.

Single-employer model for employees at residential aged care facilities

The Victorian Government has introduced a ‘single employer’ model for employees who work across multiple residential aged care facilities. All employees who work any shifts within any aged care facility managed by Monash Health or another provider will be required to be based at and work at a single facility as their primary workplace.

The elected primary workplace is the site at which the employee will work all their shifts. We understand that this may affect the number of shifts available to an employee and Monash Health will support impacted employees throughout this process. It is our intention that you will not be disadvantaged by the new workplace model. Read more here.

Continue to take advantage of wellbeing resources

Take advantage of the health and wellbeing resources we have available for you, including the Call a Psychologist service and the employee assistance program.  Don’t forget the basics of your physical health and remember we have links to resources online for you and your teams, including a helpful guide to stretching at your desk, wherever that desk might be.

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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