Chief Executive COVID-19 Update: 16 October 2020

Message from the Chief Executive

As of today, we have:

  • Six COVID-19 positive inpatients
  • Two employees with COVID-19
  • Five employees in precautionary quarantine

With public health measures in place, the rate of community transmission in Melbourne is declining.

As of today, there are 175 active cases in Victoria with two new cases detected in the last 24-hour period. The number of active cases in our local areas stand at six, seven and 12, at Casey, Greater Dandenong and Monash LGAs respectively.

In response to these numbers, we will continue to refine the way we work to ensure we meet demand without compromising safety or patient outcomes. As always, your safety and the safety of our patients, and community underpins every decision.

Changes to our Model of Care
The decline in actual COVID-19 cases, combined with what we have learned from Infection Prevention’s review of how workplace infections have actually been acquired, allows us to review our current Model of Care.

Consultation on these changes continues as we work towards implementation from Wednesday 28 October.  More information will be available next week. Until that time, please continue with current arrangements.

Beyond the Mask
While we are all living with the same directions and adjusting to the many changes required in these times, everyone’s experience of the pandemic is still unique to them. That’s why I encourage you to take the time to watch the ‘Beyond the Mask’ video series launched today. The short videos will run over the next few weeks and give personal perspectives from your colleagues right across the organisation on what it is like to deliver excellence in the face of so much change.

They are a great reminder that, while we experience the challenges of COVID-19 in our own way, there is so much about this experience that we share. The personal perspectives highlight how our teammates are always here for each other, making it possible to come so far, together. The compassion, dedication and resilience exhibited by each of you at Monash Health to deliver excellence can’t be masked.  Watch the video here.

Kate Sandry Nurse of the Year
On the subject of excellence, I would like to congratulate Kate Sandry, Nurse Manager Dandenong Hospital Emergency Department, who received the award at the College of Emergency Nursing’s Annual General Meeting on Wednesday night. You can read about Kate’s award here.

Kate’s recognition came on National Emergency Nurses Day, which is part of Emergency Nurses Week. I’d like to take a moment to say thank you to all our emergency room nurses for their hard work, dedication, service and commitment to their patients and colleagues.

Thank you for your commitment and dedication to those we care for.

Andrew Stripp

Chief Executive


Key Messages

ASUM Humanitarian of the Year – meet Monash Health Sonographer Peter Coombs 

We are pleased to announce that Peter Coombs has received the Australasian Society of Ultrasound in Medicine (ASUM) Humanitarian of the Year award. Peter has been the Sonographer-in-charge at Monash Health for 15 years, leading our ultrasound service, and is a Senior Lecturer in Ultrasound at Monash University.

A major focus of Peter’s volunteer activities has been teaching and supporting the use of ultrasound in the developing world. Learn more here.

We’re listening – the COVID-19 employee survey is open again
Over 4,000 employees completed the COVID-19 employee survey in June this year, and we’re keen to hear how things have changed for you over the last four months.

To understand how the efforts put in place throughout this year are working and where further effort is needed, we are again running our short, confidential five-minute survey.  Please complete the survey by Thursday 29 October so we can work to make sure you are supported, as we work towards ‘COVID normal’.  Read more here.

Accreditation 2021

As you will recall, assessment against the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards was delayed this year to allow us to maintain focus on our COVID-19 response. We have now been informed that Monash Health will undergo a National Standards accreditation assessment from Monday 7 June to Friday 11 June 2021.

Work has continued throughout the year to ensure we are accreditation-ready as part of our business-as-usual approach to good governance, safe patient care and high-quality outcomes for our patients, families and carers. You will have conducted activities such as mandatory training, performance appraisals and good governance as part of your daily work.

Over the coming months, we will be supporting you to continue these processes and provide tips and updates on what you can do to ensure you feel confident and comfortable with the process occurring in June next year. For now -  mark the date in your diaries and stay tuned for the next steps.

Monash Health implants world-first leadless pacemaker treatment for heart failure

Cardiologists at Monash Health have implanted the world’s first totally leadless, physiologic pacemaker system, designed to improve cardiac function in a patient with a severe cardiomyopathy, otherwise known as heart failure.

This unique procedure has, for the first time, used two innovative medical devices to resynchronise the pumping of the heart without requiring any wires to be implanted inside the patient’s heart.
Read more here.

‘Beyond the Mask’ video series launches today 

This series of short videos goes ‘beyond the mask’ and highlights the dedication and spirit of our people during COVID-19. Drawn from across our organisation, and in their own words, you’ll get firsthand accounts from your colleagues over the coming weeks. Featured this week is Dietitian, Stacey Sayers, reminding us that a smile can transcend mask and shield. Watch the video here.

EMR Best Practice Adoption Program

The Digital Health Training and Adoption and EMR Nursing and Midwifery informatics teams are delighted to introduce the EMR Nursing and Midwifery Best Practice Program, which commenced this month to support all nurses and midwives in using the approved EMR workflows. This six-month recurring program will guide you through a variety of targeted, approved EMR workflows and provide an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have about using the EMR. Learn more here.

Our Employee Assistance Program – just one of many support services available to you  

At a recent employee forum, we heard from our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider who gave us some stats from data they had collected across Australia. It showed 63% of their cases were impacted by isolation, lockdown and COVID-19. Of their callers in Victoria, 77% were indicating mental ill health, against an Australian average of 55%, so we know Victorians are struggling more than the rest of the country.

We want to continue to remind you that our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to our employees, their immediate family, and volunteers to provide free and confidential support. If you are feeling overwhelmed or not coping, then we encourage you to use one of the services we have on offer. Learn more about the services here.

Monash Children’s Hospital launches Paediatric Allergy and Immunology service 

The new Paediatric Allergy and Immunology service at Monash Children’s Hospital (MCH) aims to improve the health and quality of life of children with allergies by providing an integrated Paediatric Allergy service.  This service is in direct response to hearing the needs of children with allergies, and aims to have increased collaboration with community Paediatricians and Allergists, primary health networks, and consumer groups to deliver an effective and equitable model of care. Learn more here.

Tune into the next virtual Safety Café for HSRs

The Safety Café is a consultation initiative that provides an opportunity for Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) to be kept up-to-date with the latest developments in OHS. The next Safety Café will be held on Friday 30 October, 2.00-3.00pm. This event will focus on:

  • How to Investigate an Incident – presented by Lauren Jonas; and
  • A Day in the Life of a HSR – presented by Sharon Bailey

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.


Upcoming events

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

Employee Forum, 2pm Tuesday 20 October

Read more. 

Employee Forum, 2pm Thursday 22 October

Read more.

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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