Dear Colleagues,

Please read today’s updates.

Important Links and Contact Numbers

Command Center: 617-414-6860 (operating 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily)
Call for any needs related to COVID-19. Please note that this is only for employees.

Working Well Clinic: [email protected]
Staff and providers should use this email address to report symptoms of and possible exposure to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Information on the Hub: https://internal.bmc.org/news-events/news/where-find-information-about-covid-19-coronavirus-disease
This is our intranet and requires network access. Everything posted here related to COVID-19 is also posted on the external site listed below, including clinical guidelines, screening, testing, and PPE usage. 

COVID-19 Information on BMC.org: https://www.bmc.org/covid-19-information-employees
This is hosted on the external website and is accessible when not on the network.

NEW: Guidelines for Consolidating Care for Confirmed/Suspected COVID-19 patient

Because the safety of our employees is our highest priority, we are instituting new guidelines to bundle care in an effort to consolidate caregiver time and reduce the utilization of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Clinicians and front-line staff received these guidelines and you can find them here. At the same time, we are continuing to pursue every avenue to secure new supplies, identify alternative equipment and extend the use of our PPE inventory.

NEW: Updated Adult Treatment Protocol for COVID-19

  • A new treatment protocol for adults with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 has been approved and is available on the Emergency Management page on the Hub.
  • Changes include the addition of azithromycin for treatment and that the verifying pharmacist will obtain approval from the on-call clinical pharmacist once an order is placed.

UPDATED: Donning and Doffing Education and Videos

  • Donning and doffing personal protective equipment (PPE) correctly is essential to keep our staff and patients safe.
  • Nursing Professional Development will have ongoing educational sessions on PPE every day in Menino 2A Conference Room for any staff member who would like to attend.
    • These sessions will focus on proper donning/doffing, safety & infection prevention and any other concerns you may have. Drop in between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Videos showing how to don and doff PPE have been posted on the Emergency Management COVID-19 Hub site and are available when off-campus here: https://www.bmc.org/covid-19-information-employees/screening-and-testing.

NEW: Tips for Staying Well at Work

From our colleagues at UMass Medical Center

In addition to practices such as washing your hands frequently and maintaining social distancing, the following measures will help keep you safe while at home and work:

  • Wear clothing to work that can readily be washed at home.
  • Wash your work clothes thoroughly yourself – generally use a normal laundry detergent according to washing machine instructions and dry thoroughly using the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label.
  • Consider bringing a change of clothes to wear home at the end of your shift or upon arrival to home.
  • Don’t wear scrubs out in public. People are afraid during this crisis, so they may think you are contagious. Some of our own caregivers have been confronted by strangers about this.
  • Consider going to “bare below the elbows” so that it is easier to wash hands/forearms and avoid the possibility that long sleeves are inadvertently contaminated.
  • Don’t wear ties, as they are harder to clean and might become contaminated.
  • Wipe before you type – disinfect a shared computer keyboard before you start to use it.
  • Disinfect your cell phone, pager, laptop computers or other devices before you go home.
  • Avoid having your rounding team cluster around a single computer.

NEW: Emergency Childcare for Hospital Essential Employees

  • The state is establishing a process to approve Exempt Emergency Childcare Programs to serve vulnerable children and the children of families who are required to work to maintain the health, safety and welfare of all commonwealth citizens, including BMC essential employees.
  • Early Education and Care (FAQ and announcement here)  will post a list of approved Exempt Emergency Child Care programs by 12:00 P.M. this Saturday, March 21.
  • Parents will be responsible for reaching out to the programs.

NEW: Changes to Signing of Consent Forms to Reduce Risk of COVID-19 Transmission

  • Because inanimate objects can be a mode for the spread of COVID-19, we have moved towards not asking patients to sign consent forms with pens and instead having patients direct staff to sign for them. 
    • This is lawful and appropriate under these circumstances, and consistent with both BMC’s current informed consent policy and with the practices of other hospitals.
  • Questions can be directed to the Legal Department at 8-7901 or pager 1523.

REMINDER: Protecting Patient Privacy

  • All staff must follow HIPAA requirements, which ensures the security and privacy of a patient’s medical records/personal health information, at all times. This applies to all our patients and their health information, including diagnoses or potential diagnoses.
  • You may only access or search for information needed to complete your job and nothing more.
  • If you need a report related to COVID-19 please file a COVID-19 Request.
  • If you have any concerns, please speak with your direct supervisor.

NEW: Blood Shortage and Conservation Efforts

  • Blood drive cancellations with resulting decreases in collections across the country will lead to significant constraints in the upcoming days and weeks.
  • We have put conservation methods in place to help optimize our blood inventory levels.
  • Please encourage healthy family and friends to donate blood, and donate yourself if you can. A list of Red Cross donation sites in Metro Boston can be found on the Red Cross website.