COVID-19 GGH Update June 3

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What’s New? (1)
Resources and Supplies (1)
Staff Support (1)
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Starting with the positive

IMS team marks a milestone before starting to wind down

On March 13 our Incident Management System team met for the first time in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, the group held its 50th meeting by coming together (at a distance) to mark the occasion having only met by teleconference since March 17. As the pandemic becomes almost a “new normal” and the gradual restarting of services coming, the IMS team will be disbanded soon. It will always be available at a moment’s notice should the need arise.
In the photo (click to enlarge) are (l-r); Marianne Walker, President and CEO; Perry Hagerman, Senior Communications Specialist; Gavin Webb, VP Finance and CIO; Katie Bedo, Administration; Dr. Jennifer Caspers, Chief of Staff; Karen Suk-Patrick, Director Human Resources, OD and Employee Health; Suzanne Bone, Foundation CEO; Dawn Miller, Health and Safety Officer; Julie Wilson, Director Quality and Professional Practice; Kim Towes, Senior Director Patient Services; Bob Clayborne, Director Lab, IPAC, MDRD; Kim Crawford, Director Emergency Services and Michelle Bott, Senior Director Patient Services. Missing are Jeff Carter, Director Materials Management and Rod Carroll, Rod Carroll, VP Human Resources and Support Services.

Reporting on COVID-19 activity in staff and patients

Total number of staff tested to date294
Total number of staff with a negative test result to date260
Current number of staff with a positive test 1
Number of staff results pending4
Number of staff who tested positive and are now recovered29
Total number of staff with a positive test result to date30
Number of current in-patients who have tested positive2

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Action/Must read

What’s new?

Plan to gradual restart of elective surgeries and services approved
On May 7, the Ontario government released a framework to guide hospitals in their planning for the gradual resumption of scheduled surgeries and procedures while maintaining capacity to respond to COVID-19. Over the past three weeks GGH established over 20 planning groups in order to prepare. There are many unknowns moving forward and we know healthcare will need to adapt and change to ensure safety for patients and our staff. The reality is, services will need to establish a ‘new normal’ and we will need to think and plan very differently than we have in the past.

In response to the May 7 announcement, GGH developed a plan to very slowly begin to provide elective services in our Diagnostic Imaging, Operating Room and Ambulatory Care Departments. To support the increase in service delivery, we will be monitoring community and inpatient COVID activity. We are prepared to respond if the need arises. Additionally, we need to ensure we have all the supplies we need to both support the increase services and respond to COVID activity. To do this we have developed new tools to monitor our PPE, surgical supplies, medication levels and supply chain availability.

During COVID we continued with our most urgent / emergent surgeries and procedures. Now, GGH will need to start to address the long wait lists of elective procedures. In order to do this, DI, AC and OR will be using an ethical framework and patient prioritization tools so we can ensure the patients in the most need of service are moving ahead.

On Friday May 29, we submitted our service reintroduction plan to Ontario Health for a multi-step review and approval process. Late yesterday we received approval to slowly move forward on our plan. It is important to note that this plan is phased, with gradual increases in service and weekly evaluation and assessment.

We ask for our staff and our community’s patience as we move ahead in these next few weeks. We have learned a lot over the past many weeks as we responded to COVID-19. To continue to maintain safety of staff and patients, we will be scheduling and organizing care and services in a very different way. As we move forward slowly, we will use these learnings combined with guidance from Ontario Health, WDG Public Health, and patients and families’ feedback to continuously improve our plan.

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Resources and Supplies

In-house COVID-19 testing on hold
For the last few weeks, the GGH laboratory has been performing COVID-19 testing on-site, for admitted patients. COVID-19 tests for non-admitted patients and Assessment Centre patients are sent to a reference lab.

As of this morning, our lab has exhausted its supply of COVID-19 reagent kits and cannot perform on-site testing at this time. The kits are on allocation from the manufacturer and we may receive inventory sporadically and will continue in-house testing whenever we have inventory. 

When in-house reagent test kits are unavailable, all COVID-19 requests for admitted patients will be sent to a reference lab.  The current turnaround time for referred out COVID-19 tests is approximately 3-4 days. Results will be entered in Meditech as they are received from the reference lab.

Staff Support

Scrubs promotion at Mark’s
The latest addition to our COVID-19 Staff Offerings page on our Intranet is a promotion on scrubs for women and men at Mark’s. In addition to many scrubs being on sale, those with Triangle Rewards cards receive 50x in CT money. The promotion ends June 8.


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