Chief Executive COVID-19 Update: 18 August

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Message from the Chief Executive

  As of today, we have:

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

While it’s pleasing to see a downward trend in the number of COVID-19 positive cases, it’s sobering to see the number of lives lost, particularly in the past week. These confronting statistics remind us that we are obligated to do whatever we can to reduce the impact of the infection and associated disease.

As mentioned in my update earlier today, Peninsula Health have identified a COVID-19 outbreak and employees who worked at a Peninsula Health site between 3-17 August may be at risk of infection.  We are taking additional steps, above and beyond those we would usually take in a contact tracing process, to ensure the ongoing safety of our patients and employees. We have developed a clear set of instructions and FAQs, so those impacted know what they need to do.  These guidelines relate to work at Monash Health.  People who also work at Peninsula Health are encouraged to check with their normal contact to seek guidance.

We need to remain diligent in looking after ourselves and each other. There is no doubt that it’s challenging to live and work within the context of a pandemic, but it is critical that we continue to take steps to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading. These actions include:

  • Correct use of PPE – with particular care taken when doffing (removing).
  • Using the appropriate level of PPE in all situations.
  • Taking a moment to risk-assess the situation before any patient contact.
  • Maintaining physical distancing wherever possible.
  • Staying home when you’re sick.
  • Getting tested if you have symptoms – and isolating while you wait for results.
  • Not sharing food.
  • Ensuring you stay up-to-date with all relevant and accurate information.

There has been a further update on the conventional use of PPE. Healthcare workers are to wear Tier 3 if they are directly involved in the intubation of a patient with no COVID-19 risk factors. The detailed DHHS guidance can be found here and the updated PPE poster here.

To ensure you remain confident with the level of PPE required, please read and familiarise yourself with the PPE information on our COVID-19 employee website and our Standard Precautions, which are available on PROMPT.

All the best and thank you.

Andrew Stripp

Chief Executive

 

Key Messages

 

New precautions for employees and patients who were at Peninsula Health from 3 August

Following an identified COVID-19 outbreak at Peninsula Health, employees who worked at one or more of their sites between 3-17 August may be at risk of COVID-19 infection.

Peninsula Health has identified the outbreak and has taken appropriate steps to manage the situation.

Monash Health is taking additional steps, above and beyond those we would usually take in a contact tracing process, to ensure the ongoing safety of our patients and employees.

If you worked at Peninsula Health between 3-17 August you must;

  1. Not attend work.
  2. Advise your manager so that the operational impact of your absence can be considered. (Junior Medical Staff should advise their unit head and roster manager)
  3. Email infectionprevention@monashhealth.org and your line manager to advise the last day that you worked at Peninsula Health, your employee number and your mobile number.
  4. Attend a Monash Health Drive Through Screening Clinic to be tested for COVID-19.
  5. Remain in isolation until you have received a result. During this time you will be paid COVID-19 special leave.

If you worked at Peninsula Health between 3-7 August:

  • You can return to work if the initial swab is negative as this swab will be towards the end of your exposure period.
  • If you develop any symptoms, you should get tested again – as per normal Monash Health guidelines – inform your manager and self-isolate.
  • You may continue to provide remote activities via telehealth/telephone or other appropriate work from home activities.

If you worked at Peninsula Health between 8-17 August:

  • You can return to work if the initial swab is negative.
  • In order to detect any asymptomatic infections, you are required to undertake swabs at 72-hour intervals until day 11, starting from the last day you worked at Peninsula Health (between 3-17 August).
  • You may continue to provide remote activities via telehealth/telephone or other appropriate work from home activities.

Note: For Monash Health employees, the Peninsula Health sites this applies to are: Frankston Hospital, Rosebud Hospital, The Mornington Centre, Golf Links Road Rehabilitation Centre, and Carinya Residential Aged Care Unit.

Learn more about the actions required here, including FAQs.

Further update on conventional use of PPE

Health Care Workers are to wear Tier 3 PPE if they are directly involved in the intubation of a patient with no COVID-19 risk factors.

The detailed DHHS guidance can be found here and the updated PPE poster here.

This applies to

All areas are updating their procedures and posters to align with this directive.

Changes to palliative care visitation

We have adapted our visitation for patients who are facing terminal illness and life-threatening situations, unstable or deteriorating condition and palliative care patients. These changes have come together to protect the health and safety of our patients, visitors and employees.

For terminal care (Goals of Care D) or patients undergoing life-threatening surgery or treatment; two care givers can provide compassionate support for a patient who has recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness or where there is a high risk of death in relation to impending treatment or surgery. A maximum of four groups are able to visit in a 24-hour period or as negotiated with the nurse/midwife in charge.

For patients whose condition has been assessed and determined as deteriorating or unstable, two caregivers can provide support to a patient between 8am-8pm or other times as negotiated with the nurse/midwife in charge.

Palliative care patients (Goals of Care C) are able to have two visitors at a time between

12-2pm and 5-7pm.

View the updated visitor restrictions here.

Are you a close contact?
If you receive notification from the Department Health and Human Services’ Public Health team that you have been classified as a ‘close contact’ of a COVID-19 case, you must notify our Infection Prevention team immediately. You can do this Monday-Friday 8am-5pm by calling your site Infection Prevention team (via switch) or by contacting Rhonda Stuart via switch, after hours.

Using shared spaces safely
Checking in to break rooms and shared spaces just got a lot easier. To ensure the safety and wellbeing of our on-site employees, we have updated some of the ways you check-in and use our shared spaces. These include the introduction of updated signage, safety checklists and a simplified online check-in process via QR code or URL.

To ensure we are compliant with the latest Government directions, it is critical that rooms are not exceeding their capacity and that personal and hand hygiene etiquette is being observed at all times. Learn more here.

Connect to a new Wi-Fi network at Monash Health
As part of our ongoing work to improve and enhance our digital infrastructure for you, a new
Wi-Fi network has been rolled out across Monash Health. Employees working on-site can connect their personal devices to the new Wi-Fi network now. Find out how. 

Wound Awareness Week 2020 

At any given time, half a million Australians suffer with a chronic wound, including pressure injuries and diabetic ulcers. At Monash Health, we aim to provide effective wound management by engaging patients and their families in the development of a wound management plan, and utilising evidence-based clinical practice.

The new Wound Assessment and Management Procedure and Wound Dressing Selection Guide Implementation Tool are available via PROMPT. Learn more about these and the early signs of wound deterioration here.

Update to Allergy/Dermatology clinic for Monash Health employees

The emergency Allergy/Dermatology telehealth clinic for Monash Health employees will be open from 1.00pm – 4.00pm on the following days:

  • Thursday 20 August
  • Wednesday 26 August
  • Tuesday 1 September
  • Tuesday 8 September
  • (Tuesday 15 September – clinic closed)
  • (Tuesday 22 September – clinic closed)
  • Tuesday 29 September
  • Tuesday 6 October

Read more here, including tips on minimising mask discomfort.

Cancellation of Advances in Urology Seminar

Given the impact of COVID-19, the current state of emergency in Victoria and the ongoing uncertainty of the coming months, we have regrettably decided that the ‘Monash Health Advances in Urology Seminar 2020’ will be cancelled.

We look forward to bringing you further urology education options in the future and value your ongoing support. We are always thinking of ways to support our passionate urology colleagues and will keep you informed of other options as they arise.

 

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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