Chief Executive COVID-19 Update: 18 March

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Message from the Acting Chief Executive

As of today, we have:

  • No COVID-19 positive inpatients.
  • No employees in precautionary quarantine.

In this update, we cover:

  • Vaccination
  • Close the Gap Day
  • Join in the Harmony Week celebrations
  • Working remotely – have your say
  • New and improved accreditation checklists now available
  • Monash Health passes NDIS Program Accreditation with flying colours!
  • Monash Health Pathology increases COVID-19 testing capacity with new analysers
  • Highlighting COVID-19 pregnancy research for International Women’s Day
  • New vaccination resources – employee noticeboard posters
  • Vaccination vox pops – hear from Monash Health vaccine recipients
  • STAR Awards – nominate a colleague today
  • New changes to medication administration
  • Your IT responsibilities and copyright law
  • World Delirium Awareness Day
  • Register for health literacy training

Monday 15 March marked two exciting milestones in our vaccination journey; administering the state’s first, second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and opening our fifth vaccination clinic, at the Kingston Centre.

We now have vaccination clinics at Clayton, Dandenong, Casey, Moorabbin and Kingston. This additional capacity means that we are able to offer vaccination to all patient-facing employees at our newest sites – Casey, Moorabbin and Kingston. You can find information for employees here and information for managers here.

In a remarkable effort from our vaccination project and operational teams, we have now administered over 8,100 doses of vaccine to employees and residential aged care recipients. We are continuing to increase our capacity and soon expect to be vaccinating up to 1,500 people per day.

Before being vaccinated, it is natural to have questions. I encourage you to base your decision on credible medical information. Find out more about the Oxford AstraZeneca or the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines on our Vaccination Hub.

As exciting as it is to see the second doses of the vaccine administered this week, we must remain vigilant. Immunity does not happen overnight. We must still wear the appropriate PPE and follow infection prevention protocols at all times. This applies whether you are vaccinated or not.

I want to thank the program and clinical teams for setting up the vaccination program so rapidly and remaining agile and flexible to make it so productive. I would also like to thank everyone who is stepping up to make a difference in the fight against COVID-19 and getting vaccinated. It’s because of you that Monash Health continues to lead the way throughout this pandemic.

Close the Gap Day
Close the Gap Day is an annual event that raises awareness of the gap in health and life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the non-indigenous community, with the ultimate goal of achieving health equality.

At Monash Health, we are dedicated to inclusive and equitable healthcare for all. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience poorer health outcomes and life expectancy than non-indigenous Australians. Monash Health is uniquely positioned to make a difference due to our extensive geographical reach and the high number of patients seen yearly. Read more about how Monash Health is working to Close the Gap.

Thank you for your dedication and participation; we couldn’t achieve excellence in healthcare without you.

Martin Keogh
Acting Chief Executive

Key Messages

Working remotely survey – have your say
We are currently refining our approach to working remotely, and we’re keen to hear from those who have been working offsite. You can have your say by filling out the short survey.

We want to make sure we are giving you all the tools you need to continue to perform your role safely, whether onsite, remotely or both. Take five minutes to fill out the survey today.

Join in the Harmony Week celebrations – Complete the quiz for your chance to win!
This week is Harmony Week across Australia – a time to celebrate our multiculturalism and encourage inclusiveness and respect for all.

At Monash Health, our Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (CALD) vision is to ensure we respect and include everyone regardless of the language they speak, how they look, where they come from or what they believe.

To celebrate, employees are encouraged to join in the Harmony Week Quiz. Employees or teams who answer all ten questions correctly will go into the draw to receive one of ten $100 dining vouchers. Learn more about Harmony Week here.

Check out our new and improved accreditation checklists
To help you get accreditation-ready, we’ve updated and improved our accreditation checklists for doctors, clinicians, non-clinical employees and managers. Many of the checklists’ actions should be undertaken every day to ensure we continue to deliver safe, timely, effective and person-centred care.

Read more here or download the new and improved checklists via the employee resources page of our Accreditation website.

Monash Health Pathology increases COVID-19 testing capacity with new analysers
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen a significant increase in demand for pathology services. With quick, accurate testing a vital part of the COVID-19 response, our pathology teams had to rapidly expand their services to ensure testing capacity was at its highest.

Monash Health Pathology has conducted more COVID-19 testing than any other public pathology service in the state. This amounts to more than 213,000 tests conducted while continuing regular pathology services. As of 1 February, two new Panther Fusion analysers have come online to help expand COVID-19 testing at Monash Health. Read more about the new analysers here.

Highlighting our important COVID-19 pregnancy research for International Women’s Day
While we have faced many unknowns throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers and clinicians at Monash Health have undertaken significant work so that we can continue to provide safe, timely and high-quality care. We spoke with Associate Professor Michelle Giles, Director, Infections in Pregnancy and Dr Kirsten Palmer, Head of Maternal Fetal Medicine, whose important work has helped us prevent infections and care for pregnant women during the pandemic. Read about their groundbreaking work here.

Monash Health passes NDIS Program Accreditation with flying colours!
Congratulations to all Monash Health employees involved with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) program and the recent accreditation assessment. Currently, the in-demand service supports 156 NDIS participants and was assessed as ‘Conformity’, with zero non-conformities on closing – the best result possible! This is a wonderful reflection of the team’s hard work and their support to NDIS participants. Read more about this great achievement here.

New vaccination resources – employee noticeboard posters
Hot off the press! There are new vaccination posters ready to download, print and pin to employee noticeboards. With so many choices and more on the way, you’ll find it hard to pick a favourite, and may even spot a familiar face or two. Check them all out here.

Vaccination vox pops – hear from Monash Health vaccine recipients
With over 7,000 employees and residential aged care recipients receiving their first vaccination dose and second doses having commenced, there’ll be many of you wondering what to expect. We thought we’d share the impressions of some of your colleagues who have gone before you with some quick vox pops taken after receiving their first dose recently. Watch the videos here.

STAR Awards – nominate a colleague today
The deadline for STAR Award nominations for the first quarter of 2021 is approaching. If you know someone who deserves recognition, head to the STAR Portal and nominate them today.

Our health service is made up of people who strive for excellence in everything they do. We have faced so many unexpected challenges and changing circumstances, but we continue to go above and beyond to deliver excellent outcomes. The STAR Awards are a perfect opportunity to highlight some of our colleagues’ hard work and dedication during this time. Read more about the categories and how to nominate them here.

New changes to medication administration
We are changing the way we check and administer high-risk medicines at Monash Health. This change ensures high-risk medicines are managed safely, reduces variation in practice, and reduces the risk of medication administration errors.

If you are a nurse or midwife (excluding graduate nurses and midwives), you must log in to LATTE and complete the new eLearn, Medication Safety & Administration for Nurses and Midwives, by 30 June. Read more about the changes here.

Your IT responsibilities and copyright laws
We remind all employees of Monash Health’s legal obligations under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The Copyright Act gives the owner of original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works a range of legal rights and moral rights, whether in hard copy format or electronic format. Please be reminded of your responsibilities concerning copyrighted materials. Refresh your understanding by reviewing and familiarising yourself with the Monash Health Information Technology (IT) Users Responsibilities procedure located on PROMPT. Understand your responsibilities with further information here.

World Delirium Awareness Day 2021
Wednesday 17 March was World Delirium Awareness Day, which aims to raise awareness and highlight this often under-recognised but preventable condition.

Read more about the day, hear from experts, Brianna Walpole and Dr Julie Lustig, and learn about some of the recent improvements in our own Delirium and Dementia Initiative here.

Register for health literacy training
Health literacy is everyone’s responsibility, and Monash Health is offering employees an online training opportunity.  Health Literacy 101 will benefit anyone involved in communicating health messages, whether it’s training frontline workers in communicating effectively with patients, families and carers or building your team’s capacity to create easy to read, plain language materials and resources. Learn more about the sessions and how to register here.

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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