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: In-House Testing Capability

As of March 24, BMC has launched in-house capability for processing COVID-19 tests. Turnaround time for these tests will be greatly improved. Thank you to the team who worked tirelessly to make this happen!

  • The testing approach for patients has been updated and can be found on the Emergency Management page on the Hub.
  • Results are reported to patients and providers seven days a week.
    • Providers will receive results in Epic.
    • Inpatients will receive results from their inpatient team. Discharged or ambulatory patients will receive results from a centralized nursing team. Results will then be released to MyChart.

NEW: Important Information Regarding Pay and Benefits

As you know, the current COVID-19 pandemic impacting our region is requiring unprecedented actions to ensure the health and safety of all patients and employees. To that end, we are taking steps to provide some additional measures of economic security for you and your family in the event of your absence from work due to the COVID-19 related pandemic. Accordingly, we are announcing the following:

  • All employees will now have access to up to 80 hours of unearned ET (e.g., go to a negative balance) beginning immediately. Our intention has been to provide additional access to ET during 2020 as needed during this crisis, while balancing the process for how that occurs.
  • In the last few days you may have seen a large accrual of ET come in your bank. We sincerely apologize as this was deposited in error while rapidly working on a range of processes. This will be corrected in the next 24 hours.
  • Please also note that your health benefits will continue during any period of COVID-19 related absence.
     

As this situation evolves, we are continually thinking about ways to provide additional support to you during these challenging times. Thank you for all that you do.  

NEW: Second Influenza Like Illness (ILI) Clinic

  • The Influenza Like Illness (ILI) Clinic is a critical part of our ongoing planning to support and manage the resources in our ED for the acutely ill and conserve PPE. 
  • With the decrease in traffic and appointments on campus, the volume in our first clinic has leveled off since opening on March 16.
  • We have prepared a second ILI clinic in anticipation of a future increase in testing, which will likely open later this week in the ground floor of the Crosstown Building.

REMINDER: PPE Guidelines

  • All employees must follow the personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines, which were updated on Sunday, March 22. These guidelines will help us keep both staff and patients safe both now and in the future, and were informed by the CDC, DPH, our Infection Control experts, and clinical leadership.
  • Data suggest that cloth masks are inferior to hospital-issued surgical masks and taking contaminated cloth masks home for cleaning may present a risk to workers and their families, and therefore are not permitted.
  • Non-hospital approved surgical and procedural masks are also not permitted, as they can pose risks to staff and patients.
  • For the detailed specifics on our current PPE policies, please review the following link on the Hub: https://internal.bmc.org/doc/bmccovidconsolidatedcare, which is also available externally via this link: https://www.bmc.org/covid-19-information-employees/ppe-policy-and-guidelines.

NEW: eMERGE (Epic) Functionality Changes and Updates for COVID-19

eMERGE (Epic) updates are made as we develop new tools and are available on the eMERGE announcements page on the Hub. Recent changes include:

  • Ordering for in-house COVID-19 testing
  • Patient tracking for infection status
  • Telephone visits: View the tip sheets for more.
  • Care Everywhere verbal consent
  • MyChart for sending letters to a patient with an account.
  • Nurse triage protocols: View the tip sheet for more information about Chart Review

Full information about the most recent eMERGE changes can be found on the eMERGE announcements page, and here. If you have any technical problems or suggestions, please enter a ticket with the IT Service Desk by calling 617-414-4500 or entering a ticket directly online - COVID-19 Request or Incident.


Stay Informed through Social Media and HealthCity

With rapid changes related to COVID-19, we're sharing content featuring subject matter experts from across BMC, including quick video insights and articles on our publishing platform – HealthCity. In addition, follow BMC on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to stay informed and learn more about how work is changing and what we're doing together to protect patients, staff, and support each other.

UPDATED: MBTA Commuter Rail Schedule

The MBTA has modified the commuter rail schedule to help health care workers get to 7 a.m. shifts. The following changes are effective as of March 25: