Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 Cases

% of BMC Census

BMC Total Inpatients:

 12

 3.5%

BMC Inpatients Requiring Intensive Care:

 3

 6%
BMC Inpatients Under Investigation (pending + negatives treated as positives)   12  
Cumulative COVID+ Patient Discharges:

 1,366

 
Cumulative Staff Who Have Tested Positive  335  

Massachusetts

 112,969 (as of 8/11)  

Click to see the most up-to-date city, state, and national numbers: Boston | Massachusetts  | United States

Wishing our colleagues at BMC and Boston HealthNet a happy Nurses Week and Community Health Center Week!

NEW: N95 Sterilization Program with Battelle Ending

Based on our current and projected inventory of N95 masks, current inventory is sufficient for our needs and therefore we are suspending our reuse program of sterilizing our N95s through Battelle at this time. In the event that utilization changes significantly and our supplies again appear to be low, we will reinstitute the Battelle sterilization program.

Thank you all for your commitment to utilizing our PPE optimally to protect ourselves, our fellow health care workers, and our patients, and to Supply Chain for working to ensure we have an adequate supply of PPE. 

NEW: Additional Guidance for Ambulatory Areas on the MA Travel Order as it Relates to Patient Care

Currently, patients are screened for travel and symptoms, and when a patient screens positive for symptoms, the appointment is rescheduled or converted to telemedicine if possible. Going forward, if an asymptomatic patient screens positive for recent high-risk travel and does not meet exemptions outlined by the Commonwealth, the appointment should be delayed/rescheduled for two weeks or converted to telemedicine.

If a patient is flagged for recent high-risk travel via Medumo screener, clinics should follow-up with the patient for more information or to change the appointment, using questions from the Epic screener.

More information on this new process is available on the COVID-19 page on the Hub.

REMINDER: Upcoming Fit Testing Sessions

Fit testing sessions in August will be held at the following times and locations:

  • Wednesday August 12: 4:30-7:30 p.m., Menino 2A
  • Friday August 14: 6-9 a.m., Menino 2B
  • Monday August 17: 6-9 a.m., Menino 2B
  • Wednesday August 19: 2-5 p.m., Menino 2B
  • Wednesday August 26: 4:30-7:30 p.m.: Menino 2B
  • Friday August 28: 6-9 a.m., Menino 2B
  • Monday August 31: 6-9 a.m., Menino 2B

NEW: eMERGE (Epic) Updated Related to COVID-19

Updates have been made to the asymptomatic testing and Sars-CoV-2 IgG antibody testing workflows, the symptom/exposure/travel screening, and telemedicine level of service in Epic.

  • The Level of Service section in the Telemedicine encounter navigators will be added back in as of August 12. You will no longer have to use the Charge Capture section to document your level of service. Those who traditionally use charge capture in an office visit (PT/OT, pharmacists, SLP, and nursing) will continue to use charge capture, not the LOS. Tip sheets for telemedicine encounters can be found on the eMERGE section of the Hub.
  • Asymptomatic testing: Testing is available in ILI clinic to patients who receive care at Boston Medical Center who are asymptomatic and require testing for early identification in areas such as congregate work, living, or school settings, or to meet pre/post travel testing requirements. New asymptomatic ordering indications in Epic enable monitoring to ensure that BMC is able to track demand with testing resources and adjust testing policies as needed. Outpatient guidelines can be found on the Hub here.
  • BMC employee testing: Guidelines and process for employee testing were detailed in a Communications Office message on 7/31 and can be found here. Employees requiring testing should contact [email protected].
  • Sars-CoV-2 IgG antibody testing: Ambulatory Sars-CoV-2 IgG antibody testing is now available for appropriate indications at the ordering provider’s discretion. Please be sure to follow the Epic prompts and provide the indication for testing within the order.
  • Symptom/exposure/travel screening in Epic now includes a question related to whether the patient has had COVID-19 testing in the last 14 days. An expanded list of symptoms is also available. We are working with Epic to add domestic travel to this screening as well.

Reminder: COVID-19 Vaccine Research Study

We are conducting a study of safety and antibody response to a vaccine against COVID-19 in healthy volunteers (BMC IRB #H-40266/WIRB #20201000; approved 6/12/2020 - PI Dr. Elizabeth Barnett). Participants will be assigned by chance to receive study vaccine or placebo and will have 6 study visits over the two years of the study. Information will be collected about reactions to the vaccine and blood tests will be done during the study to learn about antibody response to the vaccine. Healthy volunteers who are between 18 and 85 years of age and are willing to take part in all study visits for the two-year study period are eligible.

Your decision to participate will not affect your employment at Boston Medical Center or Boston University. Participation in this study is completely voluntary and separate from your employment, and will have no bearing on your employment status or affect opportunities for career advancement. If you are interested in taking part, please contact the Covid Vaccine Study team for more information at [email protected] or 4-5194.