Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 Cases:

BMC Total Inpatients

23

BMC Inpatients Requiring ICU Care

3

BMC Inpatients Under Investigation (pending + negatives treated as positives) 

25

Cumulative Staff Who Have Tested Positive

417

Massachusetts Cases

142,941

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

REMINDER: All Employees Must Receive a Flu Vaccination by Friday, October 30

All staff members and LIPs, including those working off-site (at home, out-of-state, and off-campus), are required to receive their annual flu vaccine by October 30. If you are a BMC employee who has not met the requirements by October 30, you will not be able to return to work and will be unpaid in accordance with our policy.

To get your flu shot ON-campus:

If you prefer to get your flu shot from an OFF-campus provider, visit the Working Well Employee Health Portal to upload influenza vaccination receipts. You can also use the portal to upload required supporting medical or religious documentation to decline vaccination for review and approval by the WWC.

The Working Well Employee Health Portal also gives you access to real-time health compliance updates and tools. Please email or call the Working Well Clinic at 617-638-8400 with any questions.

NEW: Changes for Patients Who Require a Bronchodilator or Inhaled Corticosteroid

In order to decrease the number of aerosol-generating procedures performed at BMC, all adult patients who require a bronchodilator or inhaled corticosteroid will receive a meter-dose inhaler (MDI) with a spacer. The MDIs will be ordered through EPIC. For any adult patient where the nebulized treatment is clinically necessary, please page the covering pharmacist to assist in placing the order. 

For pediatric patients able to tolerate an inhaler and spacer, there will be a table with recommended conversions for home medications and/or nebulized treatment. For any pediatric patient unable to tolerate an inhaler, please continue with ordering nebulized product. 

Please contact Kanan Shah ([email protected] or 4-5354) or Kevin Horbowicz ([email protected] or 8-6796) with any additional questions.

NEW: FGH Conference Room to Be Converted to Staff Eating Location

Beginning November 1, the FGH conference room will not be available for booking for meetings. Instead, it will be used as a staff eating location for the colder months. A list of other areas designated for staff eating can be found here.

NEW: Housing Eviction Moratorium Update

The state’s comprehensive moratorium on evictions and foreclosures expired on October 17. The state’s moratorium had been protecting all residents from evictions and foreclosures, except for instances where removal is necessary to protect public health. A more narrow federal moratorium remains in place for low income renters, but requires action on the part of the tenant to prevent eviction.

BMC has publicly supported many housing policies that, if passed, will help protect our patients. However it is very important for BMC providers, patients, and employees to know that action is required on the part of the tenant in order to receive protections under the federal moratorium.  Please see the resources below:

  • Federal Resources: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ordered a temporary halt to residential evictions nationwide for renters who meet certain income and other eligibility criteria, effective through December 31, 2020. To receive protection under the moratorium, tenants must provide a completed copy of the CDC Declaration form to their landlord or property owner, confirming their eligibility under penalty of perjury. Learn About Protections and Steps Renters Must Take.
  • State & Local Resources: To find housing/rental financial assistance based on your location, call the Massachusetts 2-1-1 information hotline and/or reach out to a rental counselor or Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC) in your region. HCECs provide housing resources for the entire state. 
  • Boston Medical Center Resources: Mass THRIVE offers an up-to-date repository of resource guides and detailed directory of services.

UPDATED: Staff Members Who Use a Gerson 2130 or SAS N95 Mask Must Be Re-Fit Tested

All employees who use Gerson 2130 or SAS masks need to be re-fit tested, as these are not currently available. Upcoming fit testing sessions are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday October 21: 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. in Menino 2A
  • Thursday October 22: 2 – 5 p.m. in Menino 2A
  • Friday October 23: 6 – 9 a.m. in the Shapiro 1 conference room
  • Monday October 26: 2 – 5 p.m. in the Shapiro 1 conference room
  • Tuesday October 27: 6 – 9 a.m. in Menino 2A
  • Wednesday October 28: 2 – 5 p.m. in Menino 2B
  • Thursday October 29: 4:30p – 7:30 p.m. in Menino 2A

REMINDER: Staff COVID Testing during Thanksgiving Travel

In light of the recent uptick of COVID cases in Massachusetts and the upcoming holiday season, we want to remind all staff and faculty of our travel policies. Personal travel remains discouraged, particularly to restricted areas, and BMC work travel remains prohibited except in specific circumstances. 

We recognize that there may be travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, and in order to ensure we can continue to fully staff hospital clinical operations and safely accommodate employees requiring COVID testing, the Working Well COVID Clinic (WWCC) has made temporary adjustments to their workflow and schedule.

For employees planning to travel to restricted COVID areas (as designated by Massachusetts DPH COVID guidelines) during the Thanksgiving holiday, it is important that all employees incorporate the COVID test results turnaround times into their return to work plans and communicate their plans to their supervisors.

Scheduling adjustments in place from Nov. 27 to Dec. 5:

  • The Working Well COVID Clinic will expand hours and days of operation in order to accommodate the increased demand.
  • All travel screening tests need to be previously scheduled through the WWCC. There will be no walk-in travel screening testing during these dates.
  • To schedule an appointment, click here and follow the instructions. The deadline to submit a request to be prioritized was 10/20, but you are still able to submit a request.
  • The WWCC will prioritize employees working in the inpatient, ED, and procedural areas, followed by outpatient clinical areas.
  • For traveling plans and return to work date, consider the turnaround time for test results. Staff can only go back to work once they have been cleared by WWCC after receiving the test result.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

NEW: Upcoming Changes to MyChart and Epic

On November 2, BMC will begin sharing clinical notes and test results (without delay) with patients via MyChart. This will ensure our compliance with the Information Blocking Rule, a rule within the 21st Century Cures Act that passed in December 2016. The rule mandates patients have access to their clinical information in an easy, portable, and inexpensive way. 

More information and guidance about information blocking is available on the eMERGE section of the Hub. In addition, optional information sessions are being held on October 22 from 12-1 p.m. and October 29 from 4-5 p.m.

Starting next week, all care providers at BMC will be able to dictate directly into Epic under our institutional site license for Nuance Dragon Medical One (DMO) voice recognition dictation software. 

DMO will go live for licensed independent practitioners (attendings, residents/fellows, NPs, and PAs) on Monday, October 26, just after the Epic upgrade. Go-live for Nursing, students, and ancillary providers (case managers, social workers, PT/OT, etc.) will be on Monday, November 9. Tip sheets and additional information regarding go-live support will be distributed.

REMINDER: BMC Pharmacies Are Available for Employees and Their Families

BMC’s three retail/outpatient pharmacies on campus, as well as the mail order/specialty pharmacy Cornerstone Health Solutions, can be used to fill prescriptions for all employees and their family members. A BMC health plan is not required and prescription orders can be delivered to a work location on campus or to your home free of charge. You can also pick them up at the Yakwey employee pharmacy seven days a week.

Employees covered under the BMC health plan also save up to 75 percent on copays when prescriptions are filled at a BMC pharmacy. To talk to a member of the pharmacy concierge team about your pharmacy needs, email DG-Employee Pharmacy Services.