Chief Executive COVID-19 Update: 25 August

Message from the Chief Executive

As of today, we have:

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

The DHHS reported 148 new COVID-19 cases today, with sadly eight lives lost. These new case numbers are significantly lower than those we saw before stage four restrictions were implemented, but they are still higher than we would like to see, and there are still a lot of people unwell due to this virus.

Today the DHHS released more information on healthcare worker infection, in a document called ‘Protecting our healthcare workers’ which sets out information about the virus and how it can spread within healthcare settings. I encourage you to take some time to read it.

As outlined in the document, the majority of healthcare worker infections since 1 July have occurred in aged care and disability workers. Within hospitals, the majority of infections are among nurses.

At Monash Health, we have had 46 employees test positive to COVID-19. In 15 cases, it was acquired in the workplace, and in 31 cases it was acquired outside of work, often from family.

When we have a healthcare worker test positive, we undertake a case review, as we do with any serious incident, which includes determining any actions we can take to further reduce risk.

It remains extremely important that we all remain vigilant in our hand hygiene, physical distancing, use of PPE, risk assessments and, of course, common sense. Please don’t share food, make sure your hand hygiene is impeccable, and help your colleagues when they slip.

Dandenong

Over the past week, we have had two unrelated COVID-19 exposures at Dandenong Hospital. Both cases have had ‘Outbreak Management Teams’ established and contact tracing completed as per Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) guidelines. As a result, a total of 83 employees have been furloughed. If you have not been contacted as part of the contact tracing process, you do not need to be concerned.

Employee Workplace Declaration

We continue to take steps to help protect our patients and employees. One of these has been to request that you tell us all the places you work – whether that is other health services or in voluntary roles. You need to complete the Employee Workplace Declaration form by this Friday (28 August).

Shared spaces

The ways in which you check-in and use our shared spaces have also been updated. It’s critical that room capacity is not exceeded and that personal etiquette and hand hygiene is being observed at all times. We also remind you not to hold in-person meetings with your entire team, don’t share equipment, and don’t share food. These are basic techniques, but they are as important as ever.

Electrical Infrastructure Upgrade

The operating theatres at Clayton will be closed temporarily this weekend (9pm Friday-9am Sunday) to allow for vital works to take place as part of our Electrical Infrastructure Upgrade project. Elective cases have not been scheduled during this time, and any urgent surgical cases will be undertaken at Monash Children’s Hospital theatres.

Celebrating EMR’s first anniversary

This week we celebrate the first anniversary of a different upgrade – the Go-Live of the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) at Monash Health. This initiative ranks as one of the most significant and transformative in our organisation’s history. It has improved the quality of our service and care for our patients.

Patient TV is now free

At a smaller level, another way in which we are improving patient experience has been through the provision of free bedside television. We know that COVID-19 has been hard on everyone, and we’ve had to put significant visitor restrictions in place to keep patients and employees safe. We hope that free access to TV will make a patient’s stay with us a little easier.

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

Andrew Stripp
Chief Executive

Key Messages

Join your colleagues and complete the Employee Workplace Declaration form today 

Last week we sent out the Employee Workplace Declaration form. We require all employees, except Senior Medical Staff, to complete the form by this Friday (28 August). Senior Medical Staff have provided these details in the recent Workplace Mobility Survey.

Click here to access the form.

This declaration includes any paid, unpaid or voluntary work you do for any organisation, including Monash Health. Examples of other workplaces may include pharmacies, retail stores, hospitality services, community centres or sport centres. For more information, please read the FAQs.

3M 8210 N95 Masks

Monash Health has received 60,000 8210 N95 masks via the State Supply Chain and National Medical Stockpile. The masks have been reviewed by our PPE Expert Advisory Committee and are being distributed for use.

These non fluid-resistant N95 masks are safe to use in areas where there is a low risk of blood splash/arterial fluid exposure, including ICU, ED, COVID-19 and SCOVID-19 (Suspected COVID-19) wards.

The 8210 N95 should be used in combination with a face shield. Where a high risk of fluid exposure exists, e.g. procedural work or theatre, a fluid-rated N95 should be used. Learn more, including FAQs, here.

BYD N95 Masks

You may have received or heard about a notification from Safer Care Victoria (SCV) that was released over the weekend regarding BYD N95 respirators.

This is not a recall of the BYD N95. It is a safety alert following reports of incorrect usage and concerns reported from the sector.

Read more about the BYD N95 here.

 Temporary Theatre Closures at Clayton 

Monash Medical Centre’s operating theatres will temporarily shut down between 9pm this coming Friday (28 August), and 9am on Sunday (30 August). Elective cases have not been scheduled during this time, and any urgent surgical cases will be undertaken at Monash Children’s Hospital theatres.

This shutdown is part of the Electrical Infrastructure Upgrade project and will allow vital upgrade works.

Monash Health has enacted additional safety precautions for this project. Clinical leaders have led the planning for this significant shutdown alongside engineering and external contractors.  Read more here.

Happy first Go-Live anniversary EMR! 

This week we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Go-Live of the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) at Monash Health. The traditional gift for first anniversaries is paper but, thanks to the EMR, paper is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. That won’t stop us celebrating and acknowledging the careful planning, training, collaboration, and significant teamwork across the organisation in the roll-out and implementation of our EMR. Read more here.

Grants of up to $100,000 available to support ground-breaking research into COVID-19 

Through the great work of the Monash Health Foundation, funds totalling more than $450,000 have so far been raised through its public appeal to support COVID-19 research.

As set out in the COVID-19 Funding Application guide, eligible research studies must be directly relevant to COVID-19 and must provide outcomes that will either improve:

  • patient health and wellbeing at either an individual or population level; or
  • health service delivery to provide safe and high-quality care for affected or at-risk patients.

Learn more about the grants and application process here.

Using shared spaces safely

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.

Wear It Purple – put on your purple gear for LGBTIQ+ youth 

This Friday (28 August) is Wear it Purple Day and supports the rights of young people in the LGBTIQ+ community. It promotes the creation of safe spaces in schools, universities, workplaces and public spaces to show LGBTIQ+ young people that they are seen and supported.

The Monash Health Equity and Inclusion LGBTIQ+ Committee is proud to support Wear It Purple Day and invites all Monash Health employees to join them in wearing something purple to help show your support to our young LGBTIQ+ employees, patients and visitors. 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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