Chief Executive COVID-19 Update: 25 September

Message from the Chief Executive

As of today, we have:

  • Five COVID-19 positive inpatients, one of whom is in ICU.
  • One employee with COVID-19.
  • One employee in precautionary quarantine.

At Thursday’s press conference, Premier Daniel Andrews advised that Sunday’s announcement would not lead to “massive steps” out of lockdown, instead “it will be, however, steady and safe steps”.

At Monash Health, our response to declining COVID-19 case numbers will be similar. Planning is underway to resume elective activity over the coming weeks gradually, and we will make adjustments to our model of care and PPE use as it is safe to do so.

PPE requirements for Code Blue and MET response

The PPE Expert Advisory Committee has reviewed the PPE requirements for clinicians attending Code Blue and MET response. In view of low community prevalence of COVID 19, reducing community transmission and fewer COVID-19 positive inpatients in our health service, the committee’s recommendation to change the level of PPE required has been approved by the Health Services Incident Command Team.

From Tuesday 29 September, the PPE requirement for Code Blue/MET response will revert to Standard Precautions only for non-COVID-19 and non SCOVID-19 patients. This change will increase the speed of response for Code Blue and MET for non-COVID-19 and non-SCOVID-19 patients, and will align with State guidelines.

These changes apply to Adult, Paediatric and Neonatal Code Blue response.

It is important to note that the level of PPE used in a Code Blue/MET response is a clinical decision. Clinicians are encouraged to assess the level of risk for every patient on a case-by-case basis and use PPE appropriate to the risk. For neonatal Code Blue in the birth suites and in theatre, employees will continue to use PPE as per the maternity PPE guidelines.

We will continue to review the prevalence of COVID-19 transmission in the community and evolve our safety measures accordingly, seeking the best possible outcomes for healthcare workers and patients. Should case numbers rise, our processes will be reviewed.

The updated Code Blue and MET call flow charts will be accessible at this link from Tuesday.

Patients presenting from a residential aged care facility
In line with falling case numbers, we have also updated our precautions for patients presenting from a residential aged care facility. These changes are effective immediately.

 

Patients who have come from residential aged care facilities (RACFs) must be swabbed on admission, irrespective of symptoms, and placed into contact and droplet precautions.

Precautions can be lifted if ALL THREE of following criteria are met:

  1. The initial swab is negative, and
  2. The patient has no symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, and
  3. There are no other positive residents in the facility they are being admitted from.

If any one or more of the three criteria are not met, then the patient is to remain in isolation for 14 days after the last contact with the RACF, in contact and droplet precautions. If acute respiratory symptoms are present, a second swab will be required before COVID-19 clearance is given.   As usual, if in doubt consult with infection prevention.

Update to shared spaces

Those of you working on-site will be used to checking-in to our shared spaces, including break rooms, shared office spaces and meeting rooms.

Over the next week, we will be updating and improving the check-in process and use of our shared spaces. These changes include introducing room-specific QR Codes to facilitate faster check-ins, updated signage, safety checklists and a new, simplified online check-in form for QR code users.

Over the coming weeks, a series of new break spaces will become available at Clayton, Dandenong and Casey. We appreciate the importance of access to meal and break areas while working on-site. These additional spaces will consist of marquees that allow for safe, easy access, and ensure appropriate social distancing. Read more here.

Congratulations to our researchers

In one of the most challenging years in recent history, I am constantly reminded of your steadfast commitment to our patients and each other. This spirit of endeavour and pursuit of excellence was highlighted recently when three of our clinical researchers were listed as leaders in their field in The Australian’s Research 2020 Magazine.

I want to congratulate Professor Helena Teede, Professor Peter Ebeling, AO, and Professor Sophia Zoungas for being recognised for their exceptional contributions to health and medical sciences.

The work they carry out is an essential driver for innovation and improvements to healthcare outcomes for our community, and educating our next generation of clinicians and researchers. I’m proud to acknowledge their contribution to academic, research and clinical discovery.

Thanks again to all of you for your skill and dedication.

Andrew Stripp

Chief Executive

 

Key Messages

PPE training available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

PPE training via face-to-face and Webex will be now available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. These training sessions continue to be a vital component of our infection prevention protocol. View training details here.

Road works on Clayton Road

From early October, works on Clayton Road will cause disruption for vehicle traffic. For approximately five weeks there will be lane closures and changes to pedestrian footpaths.

This will facilitate the construction of new turning lanes and improve the main entry. Ultimately, the project will also install two additional points-of-entry, with a dedicated ambulance entry at Dixon Street, and a newly-created entry for delivery drivers and trucks. Signs will be posted during Clayton Road works to ensure traffic flow, but some delays are expected. Drivers who use the main entry of Monash Medical Centre should allow for additional time when planning their arrival.

Monash researchers claim top honours in The Australian’s Research 2020 Magazine 

Australian researchers rank as some of the best in the world, and Monash Health is home to the best of the best with a ‘trifecta’ of leading researchers listed in The Australian’s Research 2020 Magazine.

Professor Helena Teede, Professor Peter Ebeling, AO, and Professor Sophia Zoungas are listed as the top researchers in their field in Health and Medical Sciences. Chosen objectively, using data analytics based on where individual researchers publish and how many citations they have, Professor Teede topped the list for research in Reproductive Health, Professor Ebeling, AO, for Endocrinology and Professor Zoungas for Diabetes. Find out more about our inspirational research champions here.

Dandenong Hospital imaging upgrades

Significant upgrades to Dandenong Hospital’s imaging service are progressing well. Chief Radiographer Malcolm Gibson says the project will provide major benefits for patients and employees. A new brighter and modern CT facility will dramatically improve the patient experience at Dandenong Hospital. Handover of the new CT facility is expected soon, and it will become operational shortly afterwards. Learn more here.

Collingwood Magpies netball team make a virtual appearance at MCH 

Members of the Collingwood Magpies netball team made a virtual visit to patients at the Monash Children’s Hospital, joining a video livestream from their Super Netball bubble in the Gold Coast, Queensland. Collingwood players Matilda Garrett, Melissa Bragg, Geva Mentor and Kelly Altmann appeared on the livestream, playing a series of isolation games and answering rapid-fire fan questions. Learn more here.

Memory and stress – some helpful advice 

An increasing number of people are seeking help for memory problems. Being worried about memory is common. A significant percentage of the population, across a range of age groups, express concern about their memory, with many describing themselves as forgetful.

At a recent employee forum, Dr Brian Long, Acting Deputy Director, Psychology and clinical neuropsychologist, spoke about the effect of stress on memory and provided advice on managing minor memory problems. Learn more here.

World Pharmacists Day – ‘Transforming global health’

World Pharmacists Day is an opportunity to reflect on the many ways in which pharmacists work to improve the health of patients and the community. This year, the theme is ‘Transforming global health’, one which speaks to the way in which pharmacists have adapted to aid the COVID-19 response. Learn more here.

‘Feel the Beat’ app launched to support heart health

It’s Atrial Fibrillation Awareness (AF) Week and this year, Hearts 4 Heart have launched the ‘Feel the Beat’ app to check the health of your heartbeat on your phone. Check out the app here.

Contact tracing is the responsibility of the Infection Prevention team
A reminder that notification regarding outbreaks, contact tracing, and any required furloughing of employees is the responsibility of the Infection Prevention team.

It is important that if there is an outbreak in your work area, that you allow the Infection Prevention team to manage it in line with our established protocols, which exist to facilitate effective tracing, reduce anxiety and respect confidentiality.

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.

Upcoming events 

 

Employee Forum, 2pm Tuesday 29 September

Join our Employee Forum for an opportunity to discuss Monash Health’s COVID-19 response.

Read more

Medical Grand Round, 12.30pm Wednesday 30 September

Clinical Conundrums: “Bile and Beyond”

Read more

Manager Briefing, 2pm Wednesday 30 September

An update on the latest information available for managers.

Read more

Employee Forum, 2pm Thursday 1 October

Join our Employee Forum for an opportunity to discuss Monash Health’s COVID-19 response.

Read more

Stay up to date with events on our COVID-19 website for Monash Health employees:

 

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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