COVID-19 GGH Update March 27

The rate of change and the required communication can seem overwhelming. Still, it is expected staff will review their emails in a timely manner. There, you’ll find important information about changes to hospital procedures, updates and potential exposure follow up. Emails are an important, timely way to communicate with ALL GGH staff. For example, it was just shared that Tim Horton’s is changing its hours starting Saturday (March 28) and closing its food line. For details, click here.

PPE supplies and use

Vendors and the community in general are coming forward to help keep us supplied with PPE. Our end of the bargain is to make sure we’re conserving whenever possible. Each day the Incident Management Team monitors our current stock of all necessary supplies. Although we are not at critically low levels of stock today, this could easily change.  We want to ask all of our GGH staff to help us protect our precious commodities.

For example, the use of N95 masks. To reiterate, we are supporting approved guidelines for when N95s are and are not to be used. Our approach was recently reinforced with an onsite visit by the Ministry of Labour which gave its endorsement. The Ministry also reviewed two complaints today, one of which involved the use of N95s. For all the details, please click here.

Another area of concern is the discarding of surgical/procedure masks when they’re still usable. Below are some quick guidelines.

  • A surgical mask can be used over the course of many non-isolated patients
  • Conserve your mask for as long as possible until it is wet, damaged or soiled.
  • Take extra care when removing this mask as this is when self-contamination may occur.
  • It is safe to wear your mask for multiple patient encounters. Take care not to touch your face.

Finally, there’s a growing concern about a shortage of scrubs. As mentioned in Wednesday’s update, scrubs are disappearing at an alarming rate. The theory is staff are taking home a supply for using while at work. If this keeps up, we will run out so please return any stockpiled scrubs at home. Those scrubs need to be here for all your colleagues to use.

A message of solidarity about redeployment

The Hospital and your Unions are working together to support staff through this time of pandemic. This includes working through the recent provincial government order that allows the hospital to take any reasonably necessary measures that facilitates the safe and efficient deployment of staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.  To read the message of cooperation from the Hospital and our three Bargaining Union Presidents please click here.

Incident Management System (IMS)

Your IMS team has been meeting daily since March 5. IMS uses a standardized approach to managing emergency situations. The team consists of eight designated roles supported by other resources (see diagram). These updates will now include information about the important work being done mostly behind the scenes. Today’s featured role is the Planning Coordinator.

   Planning Coordinator – Increasing capacity in preparation for a surge in patients

Most likely, everyone is wondering what we are doing to plan for an increase in patients throughout the pandemic.  There have been multiple groups working inside GGH and with members of community.  The Assessment Centre is a great example of how we partnered with the Guelph Family Health Team, the City of Guelph and Public Health to help reduce some pressure on the Hospital. This incredibly helpful strategy has significantly reduced the number of patients coming to our Emergency Department for testing.

We have been also been planning for additional capacity for patients in the hospital.  For all those interesting details, click here.