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Menninger Clinic

Coronavirus-related Messages for Staff

March 16 All-staff Announcement

Following recent announcements by health officials and schools, our Executive Team and leaders have updated our precautions and policies for operations during this health crisis. We recognize that situations are changing daily. We are carefully evaluating issues to provide the safe, quality care for our patients and care for our staff members.
 

Travel 

  • Business travel: New - All international and domestic business travel is suspended until further notice. 
  • Personal travel: New – Carefully consider the necessity of any personal travel. Check the CDC website for areas that are being monitored. New – We are now requiring completion of a Travel Registration Form in advance of all travel.  

Visitors

  • Admissions coordinators are now asking patient families to consider limiting the number of family members coming with the patient at admission. 
  • All visitors are limited to patient families. However, those family members are being screened and asked to do more by telephone. Social workers continue to remind family members to consider more phone calls in lieu of visits during the patient’s stay. We understand that sometimes there will be more families visiting at one time that will necessitate using unit group rooms. Units should start with using the visitor’s room as much as possible, to limit potential exposures and wipe down those rooms after use. 
  • Food deliveries have been temporarily suspended, effective today. This includes DoorDash, UberEats, etc.
  • We are screening all visitors, family members and contractors at the Hospitality Building. The entrance is one lane except during peak staff arrival times to facilitate screening. 
  • Non-essential vendor and business meetings must be conducted via phone or conference call.

Gatherings

  • All gatherings, meetings or other business activities should be limited small groups (under 25). 
  • The March 25 Town Hall meeting has been cancelled.
  • Please do not attend business-related external meetings or gatherings.
  • Baylor College of Medicine has already cancelled Grand Rounds through April. Most conferences and training sessions locally and nationally have been or will be cancelled through April.
  • The Gathering Place will be closed, beginning today, and evaluated within a couple of weeks.
  • We are continuing to evaluate the status of future events.
  • We will continue to have all recovery groups for inpatients only. We are evaluating how our outpatients and members of the community will receive support during this time.

Cafeteria

  • The Dietary team is responsible for cleaning the kitchen, dining rooms and Café. On non-food surfaces, they are using the bleach solution that kills viruses on contact, which is the same solution being used throughout the rest of the hospital. Please wash your hands before and after eating. Thorough handwashing remains the #1 way to prevent transmission of diseases.

Disinfecting Surfaces & Contact Points

  • Bleach solution, cloths and aprons are being provided organization wide. Bleach solution is the preferred disinfectant because it kills viruses on contact. Patient care areas have logs for maintaining the disinfecting schedule.
  • On weekends – Unit staff must assist with wiping down surfaces and keep the log updated. 
  • Reminder – Each staff member is responsible for their own workspaces and shared workspaces. If you need bleach solution, cloth and apron in your team’s area, please contact Nicolas Valadez or Jayne Look in Facilities.

Employee Illness

  • Anyone who has been traveling internationally or on a cruise, will be required to quarantine at home for 14 days. Quarantine means you must remain in your home. These staff members may use EIL.
  • If you have influenza-like or COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and call your manager, who will ask you several questions to complete the screening form and send information to Infection Control. Dee Henderson, Infection Control Coordinator, will follow-up with the staff member and provide direction.
  • Staff members can utilize EIL if they are symptomatic for COVID-19 or influenza with  documentation from a physician.

Household Member Illness

  • If a household member has COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and call your manager. 
  • Managers must then contact Dee Henderson, Infection Control, for guidance. 
  • EIL can be utilized with a doctor’s documentation.

Child Care Issues Due to School Closings

  • Staff members are expected to exhaust resources to cover child care needs. If unable to secure care, employees can take PTO.

Exposure to an Individual Diagnosed with COVID-19

  • Call your manager.
  • Managers should contact Dee Henderson for guidance.
  • Protocols for next steps are being planned. 

Preparing for Working Remotely:

  • All staff member’s job roles are being evaluated for the suitability of working at home. 
  • •IT will provide technology and training for clinical roles to provide patient care remotely if clinical coverage cannot be arranged. This week, bring your Menninger iPad and/or laptop to the fireplace area anytime from 9:30 to 11 am to receive assistance in checking how to use WebEx, logon to VPN and Cerner, as well as access email on Outlook. 
  • Non-essential work from home is under consideration.

Planning Ahead

Scenarios are being considered as we anticipate that the organization will be affected by patients and/or staff members who have coronavirus. These include:
  • Evaluating which staff members can and should work from home. 
  • Determining what non-clinical tasks staff members could do if certain teams get shorthanded in order to assemble a labor pool.
  • Designating a single point of entrance to Menninger and take temperature of all individuals entering the campus – outpatients, admitting patient and families, and faculty and staff.

Trusted Resources about Covid-19

  • Infection Control page on The Link
  • CDC website about Covid-19 and CDC travel advisories
  • Harris County Health Department 
With this evolving situation, we understand there will be questions. Please promptly share them with your managers so they can be addressed. The Clinic is opening its incident command center to unite the key leaders to address the organization’s needs and questions that arise.