COVID-19 GGH Update May 8

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Action/must read (0)
What’s New? (1)
Resources and Supplies (3)
Staff Support (4)
Policy Changes (0)

Starting with the positive

Be sure to check out the success stories in the Resources and Supply section of today’s update!

Guelph’s Dr. Doré continues to produce videos about all the great work being done locally in response to the pandemic. Here’s what he wrote about the most recent episode:
“This Episode is a bit longer, but it addresses the challenges, solutions and collaborations that have been and are currently in full effect in our area to help protect some of our most vulnerable community members, the elderly and those in congregate settings such as long term care and retirement homes. The truly is a well organized “ring of protection”, where there are a multitude of individuals and organizations, working together on a daily basis to keep COVID-19 at bay! Watch until the end – well worth it!”

Click on the image to watch.

There is a #fueltheheroes table set up today in the main lobby, 11-3, first come first served. Take only what you touch. Please keep you and your colleagues safe – ensure physical distancing. Coffee products (thanks Canada Coffee), fruit cups (thanks Dole), hand cream (thanks anonymous donors) and LCBO magazines.


Reporting on COVID-19 activity in staff and patients

Total number of staff tested to date261
Total number of staff with a negative test result to date222
Current number of staff with a positive test 1
Number of staff results pending10
Number of staff who tested positive and are now recovered28
Total number of staff with a positive test result to date29
Number of current in-patients who have tested positive7

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Action/Must read

What’s new?

Provincial framework for ramping up hospital services released
Yesterday, the Ontario government released a framework to help hospitals assess their readiness and begin planning for the gradual resumption of scheduled surgeries and procedures while maintaining capacity to respond to COVID-19. Timelines will vary from hospital to hospital and be conditional on approval by regional oversight tables involved with planning and coordinating Ontario’s response to COVID-19.

As we shared in Wednesday’s update, planning is already underway at GGH as we consider what reintroduction of services will look like. We will be innovative in our approaches as we know that news ways of doing things are needed to manage during this pandemic. As with all pandemic planning, our plans will be developed in collaboration with our regional and community partners. Details will be shared as soon as they become available. Please note at this point in time we must still follow the government’s Directive# 2 that does not allow ramp up of services.

The province’s media release about the framework is here. For those wanting more details, the 37-page framework document is here.

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Resources and Supplies

Environmental Services stepping up to help manage gown levels

“Never before did we have to look at our processes so carefully,” says Environmental Services Director, Rachelle Peacock. “The COVID-19 pandemic caused so many of us to have to react quickly. We’ve had to adapt, respond and be innovative.”

Environmental Services’ Terry Baccin gets ready to distribute another load of clean gowns.

Environmental Services (ES) is now using our real-time reporting system, Daisy, to know where the isolated patients are in the hospital and number of isolated patients per unit. With that information, it delivers gowns required for the day with a buffer for new additions. A second daily pickup and delivery was arranged with our linen supplier. This allows for faster reprocessing time and makes more clean gowns available without having to increase inventory. ES also added additional pick-ups of soiled gowns from the patient rooms and soiled utility rooms so as many gowns as possible are sent to the plant. On weekends the linen truck is here 3 – 6 a.m. to do a pick up so basically, linen work is happening around the clock.

In order to ensure adequate supply of reusable isolation gowns, it is important gowns be used correctly:

  • Use of isolation gown is for PPE only.
  • Do not dispose of COVID-19 contaminated isolation gowns.
  • Soiled isolation gowns are to be segregated in the designated linen hamper. This will allow for fast reprocessing time.
  • Isolation gowns are not to be used as clothing protectors when bathing patients or worn as warming jackets.
  • Bundle your care to avoid frequent visits to patients.

“These are unprecedented times which require all of us to support, partner and respond to ensure the safety of both staff and patients,” says Rachelle.

New scrubs process already showing positive results!

We have seen a 23% increase in our scrub return rate since starting the sign in process only a week ago! We expect this will continue to improve as the sign in process gets further established. We have also seen a decrease in staff coming into and out of the building in scrubs.

We have also recovered a number of missing pieces, but need to keep them coming in. Each piece returned will receive a huge “THANK YOU!”

Much of the credit for this success goes to the screeners, Connie Reeves-Bolger and Jen Pranger. Well done!

Masks for Professional Staff
Please obtain your surgical mask from the unit. They are stored in an orange box in the nursing station. Please do not take/request full boxes of masks to any change room or lounge.

Staff Support

“Pandemic Pay” update
Last night, the government launched a website that provides some additional details regarding its pandemic pay initiative. While the web site does outline some eligible occupations, it’s not a comprehensive list and does not outline the mechanisms through which hospitals will receive government funding for administering pandemic pay.  

The government advises that further direction will be provided to eligible employers, including hospitals, prior to May 15. Hospitals have been encouraged by the Ontario Hospital Association to await further communication from government prior to making decisions with respect to pandemic pay at this time, particularly in the absence of confirmation of provincial funding and other key implementation details. 

We understand many people have questions about whether they will be included in that list by the government. We also recognize the impact it has on the morale of staff who do not appear to be not included when everyone has contributed to respond to the challenges of the  COVID-19 pandemic as part of the GGH team.  As soon as we get these details, we will apply the payment to eligible staff retroactively. We appreciate everyone’s patience during this process. 

COVID-19: Mental Health Services for Health & Community Care Workers

From St. Joe’s Hamilton: Health and community care workers have made a selfless commitment to care for our community during COVID-19. At work and at home, you have shown incredible strength. But even the strongest among us need help sometimes. Anxiety, exhaustion and compassion fatigue are all normal responses in this pandemic. It’s ok to say it: this is really hard.

If you are a health or community care worker impacted by stress related to COVID-19, supports are available to help you cope. These supports include access to resources you can access on your own or with a group of peers. Five hospitals in Ontario, including St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, are partnering with Ontario Health’s Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence to provide assessment and referrals to health or community care workers from across the province.

As a reminder
Our EFAP Program provider Homewood Health also has a lot of tools and resources for you:  Employee and Family Assistance Program.

Staff Feedback survey wrapping up today!!
So far, 353(!) staff have filled out the survey. Today is the last day to share your thoughts about how well the hospital is doing with supporting you through the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey is anonymous and short. Click here to complete the survey today!

Policy Changes

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