Manager & Physician Update from the IRT

UPDATED: March 19, 2020

Dear Managers and Physicians:

IRT has put the following protocol in place for employees:

    1. If an employee is displaying symptoms of a contagious viral infection (respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath or breathing difficulties), we should follow our policy and send them home. As healthcare providers, we do not want to be spreading germs but also implore everyone to use common sense.
      1. Bringing employees back. Remember, we cannot ask for doctors notes unless the employee has been out for a consecutive 3 days. When we send them home, at that time, we should ask that they not return until they have recovered from their illness, whatever condition it may be. For example, a cold – no more coughing, sneezing, etc.
    1. The manager who sends the employee home, should immediately:
      1. Contact HR (the incident response team should not be contacted at this time unless the manager KNOWS the employee has the coronavirus);
            1. For North Employees – Lindsay Rivera, Ext. 1008;
            2. For Central – Alice Narlis, (609) 896-2950, Ext. 212;
            3. For South – Chris Lukaitis, Ext. 52366; 
      1. Wipe down the office and clinical spaces with anti-bacterial wipes as we normally would and/or more frequently, including patient waiting areas, taking increased precautionary measures.
      2. Per our normal privacy protocols, you should not talk or disclose the employee’s health status to anyone else besides HR; always remembering only what’s minimally necessary. If an employee or physician decides to stay home due to health concerns, the specific reason is to be kept private. Our employees should know that we are taking all the precautions we can to protect them. If NJU knows that an individual tested positive, we will ensure all appropriate communications and actions are taken.
  1. HR will contact the employee (no one besides HR or a HR designee should contact the employee) and obtain additional information (with the purpose being to ensure we obtain accurate information and no employee rights are accidentally violated).
    1. If the employee has not had exposure to the coronavirus, the employee will follow normal “sick” protocol;
      • If the employee has been directly exposed (i.e. the employee has been in contact with someone who has a confirmed case)/thinks they might have been exposed, the employee should go home and self-quarantine (HR should be involved in this process because we must be careful with what we do and do not ask an employee);
    1. If the employee discloses that they have tested positively for the coronavirus:
      • HR (or whoever the employee tells) will immediately email the Incident Response Team and copy Mark Herzog and the applicable V.P. of Operations; The VP of Ops should also be called on their cell phone to ensure proper communication;
      • The VP of Operations will coordinate closing the office as soon as practically possible.
        1. The VP of Operations should try to divert patients to other offices if at all possible.
        2. If the location being closed in an OBS (where the OBS nursing staff has a clinical responsibility to the cancer center), coordination must occur with the Cancer Center to ensure proper coverage.
      • Mark will contact the appropriate cleaning crew to do a terminal cleaning as soon as possible. Mark will update the VP of Operations regarding when the office can be cleaned.
      • The VP of Operations will coordinate with the C.O.O. and others, as necessary, to determine how long the office will be closed for and what other precautionary measures will be taken.

Important Reminders:

  • We are not allowed to disclose the exposed employee unless the exposed employee signs a consent. So, all employees should be careful what they say about other employees.
  • No signs should be posted unless approved by IRT to avoid sending mixed messages to staff that are trying so hard to follow the protocols that are being put into place.
  • We heard that not everyone received the updated questionnaire, so we have reattached. Remember if you decide to hand the questionnaire to the patient, you are responsible for training your employees on the proper follow up.
  • Please also see Spanish versions of the questionnaires and door poster attached.
  • We are working on a SOP for all locations and hope to get this to you by tomorrow. Please stay tuned.

 

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Thank you for your assistance and cooperation,

IRT

 


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