CORONAVIRUS-COVID-19 UPDATES

Click here for the latest information.

Previous Updates

Please read below to view previous updates sent out by the Incident Command team.

Message from May 21, 2020

Good Afternoon Everyone

Patient comment through our website:

Your “Thank You” Message:
Thank you health care workers for your courage and selflessness during these hard times. Thank for helping those who have been affected and risking your life doing so. We will get through this with your help. Thank you. I love you,

 

Sick Time Update:

We continue to monitor all symptoms related to COVID-19.  We ask you all remain diligent in self-reporting and staying home according to Employee Health guidelines (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PD0bxz3V0DcdLk9vh-Pn1RPjYiDprzQC/view)

If you are sick with upper respiratory symptoms and need to stay home or quarantine due to exposure – we will follow our normal guidelines for sick time and our Employee Health nurse will be in contact with you.  Staff will need to use PTO to meet their FTE for their time out.

In the event an employee tests positive for COVID-19 and works in a high risk of exposure area (URI Clinic, ED, Med/Surg COVID side, etc…), Southwest Health will review each case and may grant additional paid time outside of the normal sick time policy.

Please work with your leader or HR if you have any questions.

 

Rounding and Meetings:

As the majority of staff are returning onsite and the safer at home restrictions are being lifted, leaders will be resuming rounding with staff and the executive team with medical staff, starting in June.  Be watching for those requests coming from your leader or Caiti in the case of the medical staff.

We are also asking that staff meetings resume using zoom for larger departments or, if you have a small department, in person following CDC guidelines.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Dan

 

Message from May 18, 2020

Good Afternoon Everyone

  1. Please see the attached PDF “re-opening” for guidance related to recent changes in our state.
    1. Also, there are several very good websites that businesses can use as they plan their re-opening.  These are completely FYI but in case anyone is asking you can reference these sites.
  1. Also attached is the updated “visitor guidelines” for the hospital effective tomorrow, May 19th.
  2. Physician Visits:  We will have at least 3 physician recruitment visits over the next several weeks for General Surgery, ENT, and Family Medicine.  These will be the first recruitment visits since the pandemic started and will be structured slightly different with smaller groups meeting the candidates while still trying to give the candidates the real cultural experience SH has to offer.
  3. Please remember, if you are scheduling patients or directing patients to come to SH, that you let them know they need to bring a mask to wear.  We are still giving out masks to roughly 10% of those arriving on our campus.  As we continue to increase volumes, our supply of masks will be depleted quickly if patients and visitors don’t arrive with masks.
  4. Nothing else critical for the week  J

Have a great week!

Dan

Message from May 8, 2020

Good Afternoon Everyone

  1. Furlough Q&A Additions:  no additions
  2. See very nice thank you attached.
  3. Employee Monitoring (hospital campus):  Effective Monday May 11th,  there will no longer be an employee assigned to the employee entrance for temperature monitoring.  The papers and supplies will remain and we are adding an additional table and thermometer so that you can take your own temperature and document it. An additional employee monitoring station has been added at the Edge entrance. Employees are required to document their temperature, answer the question and sign the log.  The main entrance can also be used but be sensitive to patient priority of that entrance.
    1. The plan will be to re-evaluate again in two more weeks and adjust as necessary.
  4. See attached for an energy assistance program through Alliant Energy.

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Dan

Message from May 1, 2020

Good Afternoon Everyone

  1. Furlough Q&A Additions:
    1. It looks like the FAQ page for unemployment has been updated.  The attached link gets you to the updated page.  https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/covid19/public/ui.htm
  2. Furlough Updates:  The below are updates as we execute re-entering of services at SH.  The below plans are for moving forward after May 8th.
    1. Most departments are starting to re-open, Monday May 4th.  The expansion of services will require staff to start coming off of furlough starting next week.
    2. However, furloughs may extend through pay period May 23rd as departments ramp up services per the re-entry plan.
    3. Anticipation of most staff being back the week of May 25th.  There may be certain positions who will be furloughed past May 25th.
    4. Health Insurance holiday will extend one more pay period ending May 23rd. Employees will resume their portion of the premiums starting pay period May 24th.
    5. Your leader will have more specifics about your department so if you haven’t heard from them yet, please reach out directly.
  3. Drinking fountains throughout the organization have been shut off for Infection Control purposes.  Ice/water machines will stay as is – reminder to use good hand hygiene before and after use.
  4. Scripting on appointments for patients coming to SH.  As we start to open back up next week, it is critical that every patient that comes to SH comes with a mask.  We do not have ample supply to give every patient a mask.  If you are scheduling or talking with patients about appointments, the ask of you is: The last thing communicated to our patients should be “remember, you will be required to wear a mask to your appointment so please bring one with you”.
    1. Jaime will be working on social media and radio communication to make sure the word is out as much as possible but the more we can all do individually to spread the word will be very valuable to protect our supply of PPE.

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Dan

Message from April 24, 2020

Good Afternoon Everyone

  1. Furlough Q&A Additions:
    1. Nothing new today
  2. Financial counseling services:  On this linked page, they have specific sections regarding Managing Debt, Housing and Bills, and Unemployment among others.  There is also an 800 number listed to contact the GreenPath counselors.  The counselors can help put callers in touch with free resources.  GreenPath does have services they sell, but all of the info detailed here is free of charge.
    1. https://www.greenpath.com/coronavirus/
  3. Press Release:  Please see attached that will go out to the Media for release in next week’s papers, radio, social media, etc…
  4. At the bottom of this email, I copied and pasted a communication I shared with our governing board Thursday morning.  Important to know the data and watch the trends.  FYI as you can see the things we are watching that are driving our decisions as we move forward.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Dan

Message from April 23, 2020

Good Afternoon Everyone

  1. Furlough Q&A Additions:
    1. Nothing new today
  2. From WHA:  Inspired by the photos members have been posting on their social media pages, we’ve put together a short video to say “Thank you”—thank you to you, our front line, and thank you to everyone in our state for their help in flattening the curve.  Please take a moment to view the video here You are all in it!
  3. Building Project:  We had a governing board meeting last evening and there was a lot of discussion on the upcoming building project.   Happy to report that the board was in 100% agreement that, although the current pandemic has caused a lot of pain and slowed us down, it is a short period of time in our organizations long history.  The ability to bounce back even stronger is dependent on a lot of things, one of them being the ability to continue to grow and expand our services.
    1. The project is going forward as planned with a few exceptions:
      1. Construction start date will most likely be pushed back a few weeks from July 1, to mid-July.
      2. In order to control costs, there were a few modifications we made, that ultimately don’t affect the functionality of the building, but were needed from a budget standpoint. High end finishes that nobody will even notice, except for the architect.  One area that you will notice is the proposed conference space, will not be built out.  The space will stay as “shell” space with no finishes, just concrete floors and studded walls.  When the day comes that the family practice clinic grows to need that space, it will be finished at that point.
    2. What is next?
      1. We will be stripping and putting gravel down on the EDGE field so we can move all the parking from the current clinic lot to the back lots.  That area will eventually be paved, striped, etc… but we need to get something temporarily done so that parking can move and construction can start.  I suspect we will see some movement on that sometime in late May or early June.
      2. Construction plans are near completion.  Over the next several weeks, they will be finalized and sent to the state for approval.
    3. Once we get closer to construction, we will begin doing regular construction updates like we have on past projects to keep everyone in the loop.

Have a great day everyone!

Dan

Message from April 21, 2020

Good Afternoon Everyone

  1. Furlough Q&A Additions:
    1. Here’s a useful flow chart: Wisconsin COVID-19_ Which Unemployment Program is for You.
    2. I am working every other week, or on a rotational basis. Should I file a weekly unemployment claim even during the weeks that I am working?
        1. Yes, until you are back to work permanently, you will need to complete a weekly benefit claim each week to continue receiving benefits.
    3. Am I required to search for work during the COVID-19 pandemic?
        1. As a result of Governor Evers Emergency Order, you do not need to do a work search during the Governor’s declared emergency. The Department is in the process of making the necessary updates. No action is needed on your part regarding the work search.
        2. (If you are getting this requirement, you may need to contact an unemployment specialist at the state, or you may have entered information incorrectly).
  1. Hand sewn masks:  We have been receiving generous donations of cloth masks from community members and businesses.  We now have a large supply of masks, washed and sorted to distribute to staff for use in the community.  CDC recommendation is that all people wear a mask anytime out in the community.
      1. How to get a mask? Your department leader has a supply to distribute if you don’t already have some and are interested in getting a few.
      2. There is guidance on the CTF page for washing/re-use of cloth masks – PPE Guidelines.
  2. Administration, with the guidance of the Medical Staff Leadership, is now coordinating plans to get the hospital back into regular operations.  The plan that is being worked on will be a staged approach, starting out slow, and methodically moving over a 5 week period of time to full operations.  Some of the key departments that this effects will be working on operationalizing the plan over the next several days.  Once the plan has more substance, it will be shared with all staff.  CMS has given guidance that will help hospitals move into this next phase and in speaking with colleagues, many other hospitals are moving in this direction as well.  This is really exciting news for our organization, all of us as team members, and most importantly, our communities who need us!

Have a good day!

Dan

Message from April 16, 2020

Good afternoon

This afternoon State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services extended the Safer-At-Home order until May 26th.  We will be reviewing the document as we are working to see how to meet the needs of our patients that have not had access to chronic and preventive care, but for the safety of our community we must stress to all employees to follow this guideline.  The complete order is available on our SHC COVID-19 Clinical Task Force page and at the following link:     https://drive.google.com/file/d/1O2ZlKGIBWRsFNdwUw14GdjQZLR5ajSNQ/view

Furlough Q&A

How do out-of-state employee’s apply for WI unemployment without a WI driver’s license?

For everyone that works in Wisconsin and doesn’t have a state ID or driver’s license, they will need to call the number provided on the login screen (414-435-7069) to get authorized. The state verifies proper identification to avoid fraudulent claims.

Remember at any time you can find the most current SHC COVID related information at the link below

SHC COVID-19 Clinical Task Force (CTF)

Steve McCarthy, Chief Operating Officer

Message from April 14, 2020

Good Afternoon Everyone

  1. The doors in the East Hallway between the Hospital and Clinics will be closed to provide a visual barrier to patients whom maybe shouldn’t be in that hallway.  This will reduce the potential for cross contamination of patients coming from the regular clinic/respiratory clinic, infusion, etc… The doors are unlocked during the week at 6:30 a.m. and locked at 6: 30 p.m.
  2. Furlough Q&A
    1. Starting this pay period, the Executive Team and majority of the Directors will be reducing their employment status from 1.0 to .8 FTE or a 20% reduction.  This adjustment is in a continued effort to reduce the organizations costs as we wait for things to return to normal
    2. Finding Southwest Health as an employer when filing unemployment?
      1. When I search for Southwest Health as my employer – it’s showing Southwest Health – U C MNGT Services, Arlington Heights, IL.  This is correct.  U C Mngt services is who processes our claims.
  3. Due to the changes in our PPE policy that went into effect last week, at this time we don’t have enough cloth masks to distribute to every employee for use in the community.  We are anticipating a large donation by the end of this week and will inform everyone once that happens and you can get your mask.
  4. See trending below.  Trends can change but the current trend is going in the right direction.  Today was the lowest new case number since March 23rd at 87.  Hang in there!

Have a great day!

Dan

Message from April 10, 2020

Good Afternoon Everyone

  1. Julie, Brad and the HR team has been working very hard to obtain accurate information in regards to unemployment to share with you all. Information on unemployment is constantly changing from the state and federal level.
    • When should I apply for unemployment?
      1. Because the direction from the state is constantly changing, please refer to and follow the guidance on the WI unemployment website for directions on when to apply.
      2. Here is the link to the unemployment FAQs website in which the state is keeping up-to-date.  https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/covid19/public/ui.htm
  1. How will my ETC deductions work?
    • ETC Deductions are only taken out of your SH paycheck. If you are on furlough, those deductions will not occur since you won’t be getting a paycheck for SH for that time period.  They will automatically resume once you have worked hours.
  2. How do I find out my hire date?
    • Leaders have been provided those dates so please contact your leader.

No other IC updates.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Dan

April 9 Message about PPE

All Southwest Health Employees,

There have been many questions and concerns raised recently around PPE use during this understandably unsettling and confusing time (i.e. when, where, who, what type, shortage status, N95 use restrictions, etc.). We are listening. Thanks to the efforts of our administrative leaders and supply chain managers our PPE supply situation is much better than is true for many other institutions in Wisconsin and nationally. We are very fortunate in this regard.

For this reason, and also in keeping with the latest and best available guidelines from the CDC, we have substantially changed our PPE guidelines for Southwest Health employees. 

These changes are most relevant to staff that are NOT directly providing care to respiratory / COVID-19 (known or suspected) patients – and will hopefully be a source of added comfort and relief to many employees. Guidelines have changed very little for those directly providing care in the ER/UC/Respiratory Clinic/Inpatient Units (other than Obstetrics).

Please review those guidelines here.

Individual clinical departments may have additional highly specific guidelines for use of distributed PPE in special circumstances (i.e. Obstetrics). Departmental managers and medical directors will be your resource for questions about unit specific guidelines. If unit managers or medical directors have questions they should be directed to Angie Pagenkopf and/or Mark Bogner.

Other general questions should be answered in most cases by the information on the CTF Home Page and the links there. Note the link to Southwest Health PPE Guidelines is in RED at the very top of the CTF Home Page.

Thank you and stay safe!

Mark

Message from April 9, 2020

Good Afternoon Everyone – please take just a moment at the bottom of this email and read what Brandy shared with the staff at Epione.  Very fitting!

We will be including frequently asked questions about furlough on the daily update.

Furlough Q&A Additions:

      1. When can I apply for unemployment?
        1. Although the first page on the WI unemployment site tells you not to file due to COVID-19 and the CARES Act, you should file in the week of which you are furloughed (not before). The state will still process unemployment as soon as they are able, but the additional federal amount could be delayed until they have their systems appropriately set up.
        2. Can I receive partial unemployment benefits? “It is possible to receive a partial unemployment benefit payment for a week even when your gross income is greater than your weekly benefit rate (WBR). However, you will not receive benefits if you work a total of 32 or more hours for all employers in a week you are claiming or if your total gross pay is more than $500.00.” Here is the link that outlines partial employment benefit payments: https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/handbook/english/contentspart5.htm
        3. Can I create an account so I am ready to apply when that time comes? Yes – you can get an account created so you are ready to go.

Please review the new PPE guidelines, link attached.  https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vT1sj4kfHn3jV7TCyhde0nVzPlpIxxuA13WSAv3T9AplK-x_t2UCM9eTTo0cRQDw6sRxCEPJk2SipvN/pub

Message from the Voice:

    1. Although we appreciate food and donations from the community, during this time we ask that all donations go through a process in efforts to prevent spread of COVID-19.  If someone is wanting to donate food or other items, please contact Bryant Schobert, Tammie Richter, or Erica Droessler to coordinate.

Have a good day!

Dan

Message from April 7, 2020

Good Afternoon

  1. Signs have been installed by the back entrance to the hospital for curb side testing during respiratory clinic hours (ER has their own process).  These spots will be used for someone who has been triaged through a provider and just needs to be tested.  Patients will arrive, park and stay in their car. A staff member will meet the patient at their car to do the test.  This is NOT drive through testing.  At this point, testing continues to be a rare commodity and only those that fall into the strict guidelines are tested.  We continue to look for the day when widespread testing can occur but it isn’t here yet.
  2. Just a reminder to not throw out any hand sanitizer containers / dispensers.  Return to materials and they will be refilled with bulk supply that we have.

Have a good day!

Dan

Message from April 6, 2020

Good Morning – this was supposed to go out yesterday and I didn’t hit send… :)

  1. Changes to Med Surg starting 04/07/20:  The reasons for the changes on med surge are to have an isolated area to care for patients with or suspected with COVID19.  These protections are put in place for staff as well as patients.
    1. There are department instructions for departments that have work on or around Med Surg – please review those plans with your Department Director.
    2. Watch for signs to assist with flow through the units on the 2nd floor
    3. The hospital main nursing desk will be secured off including the doors to room 8-11 from the main hallway.  One way in and out.
    4. When in doubt ask for help in understanding and navigating these changes.  Rebecca Durst is leading the changes so can help answer any questions related to this change.

2. Effective Wednesday 4/8/2020 we will have hand sewn masks at all patient entrances of the hospital.  The plan moving forward will be to provide patients whom enter the building with a cloth mask to wear.  We will also start supplying employees with cloth masks for their use OUTSIDE of our building. NOT to be worn while working.  They will start to be available at the employee screening stations by the end of this week.  Staff may take ONE sewn mask to use out in the community as needed.  Also, we will be accepting sewn masks as donations from community members.  If you know of anyone doing or wanting to do that, the point of contact is Kerri Sue – she is available outside of the door by The Edge from 10-11 a.m. Monday – Friday to accept donations.

Have a good day!

Dan

Message from April 2, 2020

Good Afternoon

  1. Amongst everything going on –this letter sure does re-inforce what we do.  Donna gave me permission to share this with all staff.  WOW!
  2. Keep your eyes open for signs coming soon regarding transport paths for potential COVID patients to the med-surge floor.  The elevator next to admin will be the designated elevator and the tape will help direct staff on the proper path of transport.  Continues to change as plans are finalized so keep alert for updates.

Hang in there everyone and enjoy the weekend!

Dan

Message from April 1, 2020

Good Afternoon

  1. Staff Monitoring:  After feedback today and bottlenecks that occurred at the ER entrance this morning, starting tomorrow, we will have a staff person at the ER staff entrance from 7am until 8am with an additional Temporal Thermometer to help with throughput of staff. Reminder, you can also bring your own thermometer to use if that makes you more comfortable.
  2. PPE: At this time we do not want staff wearing homemade masks.  We appreciate everyone trying to conserve the PPE we have but the current supply is holding up and we really want everyone to be as safe as possible.  If we start running low,  we will re-consider but at this time let’s continue to use the CDC approved PPE.
  3. We have now designated a shower to use for staff that choose to shower before returning home.  The shower is located in the ER/Lab break room.  Nelson has a dirty laundry bin located there and Terri is getting a shelf to put clean towels in there to use.  If you choose to shower before heading home, please have clean clothes to wear home vs. using another pair of scrubs.
  4. Employee Exposure / Quarantine:  If a staff member becomes ill or is on a mandated quarantine because of possible exposure, we have developed an option for those employees for housing if you do not feel safe going home because of a high risk family member, etc…  We have secured a bank of rooms at the Belmont Convention Center for use in these circumstances.   Amanda Reilly will be the contact person if this need were to arise.   reillya@southwesthealth.org

Stay Safe Everyone!

Dan

Message from March 31, 2020

Good Afternoon Everyone

  1. Doctors Day Follow Up:  Check out Facebook for all the nice comments!
  2.  Staff Monitoring:  Effective April 1, we will be implementing employee monitoring at the beginning of shifts vs. self-monitoring at home.  This is a CDC recommendation and necessary in ensuring all staff are healthy and limiting any unnecessary spread.  Epione has been doing this for the past several weeks.
    1. We ask you enter through one of the two entrances dedicated for employee-monitoring –  (1) The North entrance located behind the ER or (2) the Platteville Clinic Entrance on the SW corner of the building by Julie Stephenson’s office.
    2. There will be thermometers, cleaning supplies, and a record sheet so that all employees can monitor for symptoms before coming to work.  You may bring your own thermometer from home to use if that is your preference.  We ask that employees please clean the thermometers before and after use with alcohol wipes to help reduce the spread of any illness. There will be directions at each of these stations. If there are any stumbling blocks as we begin this process, please alert Bryant Schobert so we can work through those challenges.
    3. PPE Preservation: Just a reminder on PPE preservation and if you have any questions review the link below.  If you still have questions, please consult with your leader.  PPE preservation continues to be an extremely important task to maintain our supplies to protect ourselves and our patients.
      1. https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vQrOPcm-U3hvJI2vqxsmHxQcdR6D_03fxqMvdBpZ7CL1oANBsPjsPUMYBtT1B8ZQ_AIO96WJ8_qfA63/pub

Thanks Everyone!

Dan

Message from March 30, 2020

Good Afternoon Everyone

  1. Happy Doctor’s Day: Special thank you to all of our medical staff for everything they do!  Now, more than ever, we recognize the extreme importance of everything we do!!
  2. Updated PPE Guidelines:  visit SHC COVID-19 Clinical Task Force (CTF)  to see the most recent requirements to protect yourselves.
    1. All staff with patient contact are now required to wear a mask and at the hospital and SBS, eye protection as well.
    2. I have copied the latest PPE preservation link https://drive.google.com/file/d/18U9LBbG1NRJlmv-Fc2qnI9sjjyJKcrwh/view
  3. Next Phase for SH:  Now that we have exposure in our local community, we are taking the next step of reducing and preserving our workforce even more.
    1. Respiratory clinic is now operational.
    2. Patient/Visitor screeners at each of the three main doors.
    3. Clinics have been reduced to nothing but the absolute essential.
    4. Staff preservation and PPE preservation is now our most critical focus.  We need to keep our workforce healthy so that we can serve our community.  This WILL pass but right now, we need to do everything possible to protect our team.
  1. Staff Screening: The next step to keep all employees and our patients safe will be in-house staff monitoring vs. at home self-monitoring.  Epione has been doing for a couple of weeks and we will be moving to this at the hospital. More information to come in tomorrow’s communication.

Please continue to visit the CTF landing page for updates.

Have a great week!

Dan

Message from March 27, 2020

Good Afternoon Everyone

  1. Reminder: Call Center is now running 24/7.  Please call the main hospital number to be directed to the call center 608-348-2331
  2. Epione:  Resident doctor visits are now being done via Zoom vs. face to face.
  3. We will be starting tele-medicine options for patients on Monday.  We will be starting slow and ramping that program up to serve even more of our patients without having an in person visit to our campus.
  4. Respiratory Clinic:  Starting Monday 03/30/20, all respiratory patients will be seen in the specialty clinic / women’s center space.  This isolates those patients to one location that is located adjacent to the Lab, Radiology and the Emergency Department.  All non-respiratory patients, including all OB/GYN patients, will be seen in the Platteville Clinic.
  5. Patient Screening:  Also starting on Monday 03/30/20, we will be screening all patients coming into the hospital.  We will have staff greeting and screening patients at the 3 patient entrances to SH.  They will be taking the patient and/or visitors temperature, and asking them about respiratory symptoms like cough, sore throat, shortness of breath,  etc…
    1. Also, with the above screening, we will be locking the clinic and the hospital entrance doors at 6pm and having all patients/visitors enter through the ER entrance.
  6. To help avoid any bottlenecks at any of our 3 patient entrances, we are asking staff to use employee entrances only.

We will continue to make changes to better protect each other and the patients and residents in our care.  Change is hard and stressful.  Hang in there, we will get through this!

Have a good weekend

Dan

Message from March 26, 2020

Good Afternoon Everyone

  1. Call Center – 24/7 call center will be live at 5pm today.  Please call the main hospital number to be directed to the call center 608-348-2331
  2. PPE – preservation.  Please see attached and as this document gets updated, the updates will be on the CTF site.
  3. New visitor policy has been uploaded to CTF – link attached:     Southwest Health Visitor Policy During COVID-19 Crisis
  4. I have been getting a lot of phone calls, emails and text messages from community members who are so thankful for everything we are doing.  They are so proud of us and thankful we have their back.  I am sure many of you are hearing the same.  During these really difficult times, they look for us for guidance and care and they are not being disappointed!!
  5. Looking for opportunities during this trying time:
    1. Mortgage rates have dropped.  I reached out to Mound City Bank and below is what they responded with.  It may be a time to consider refinancing or at least watch the rates as they are going up and down on a daily basis.
    • It is an excellent time for homeowners to review a refinance of their home.  Current rates are as follows:
    • 3.125%-30 year
      3.0%-20 year
      2.75%-15 year
    • With everything going on there have been some processes put into place to simplify the process for homeowners.
    • One example of that would be drive by appraisals vs appraisers actually going into the property.
    • We are also working with docusign to eliminate their trip to the actual bank.

SHC COVID-19 Clinical Task Force (CTF)

Thanks Everyone!

Dan

Message from March 25, 2020

Good Afternoon Everyone,

  1. Respiratory Clinic:
    1. Details will be coming out but the plan is to have a separately designated respiratory clinic running by Monday 03/30/20.  Current plan being worked on is to move all respiratory patients to the current specialty clinic / women’s center space.  That move isolates those patients to one location that is located adjacent to the Lab, Radiology and the Emergency Department.  All non-respiratory patients, including all OB/GYN patients, will be seen in the Platteville Clinic.
  2. Administrative Rounding:
    1. I know you are all used to seeing administration around the building a lot more than you have over the past couple of weeks.  We are here – just limiting face time for those obvious reasons.  Miss your smiles so passing one along :)
  3. Community Donations: To avoid confusion and multiple contacts to business or individuals, any PPE donations will go through Tammie Richter.
    1. email:   richtert@southwesthealth.org    Cell Phone:  608-732-4937
    2. PPE = (masks, gloves, face shields, goggles, gowns and also soaps, hand sanitizer, etc…)
    3. Please forward any/all donations to Tammie and if you can think of any business or individuals we should contact directly, please let Tammie know.
  4. Staff Self-Monitoring – NOTE:  Epione Staff – continue with your current process.
    1. Please review this document and start this process right away.

Remember – visit this site often as many questions that have been floating around have answers and are located on the homepage.

SHC COVID-19 Clinical Task Force (CTF)

Thanks Everyone!

Dan

Message from March 24, 2020

Good Afternoon Everyone – today’s incident command updates.

  1. Attached is the Governor’s order (purely an FYI – 16 pages long) you don’t need to read it…
  2. Also attached is a message regarding the EDGE effective today.
  3. Staff self-monitoring.  Does not apply to Epione as they have their own process in place.  At this point, we are working on self-monitoring guidelines.
    1. Until that is fully developed, use the following guide:  If you are running a fever of greater than 100, you have new or worse cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, you cannot report to work.  Please contact your supervisor immediately.
  4. 24/7 call center.  Will be operationalized at 5pm on Thursday 03/26/20
  5. Tele-medicine now has a go-live date to work towards of Monday 03/30/20
  6. PPE usage, preservation, etc…  Still in the works with a high priority put on that by incident command today.

Discussion with colleagues around the state, we are in a very good position with our planning.  Remember, we do not have a playbook to go by with this but rather figuring it out as we go.  We are doing great work preparing our organization to serve our community in whatever capacity is needed today and over however long this altered state may last.

Keep smiling and we will get through this together!

Dan

Message 2 from March 23, 2020

Good afternoon everyone – most likely old news for everyone but see below.  I have yet to hear details, but to be safe, I would suggest having your name badge with you when traveling to and from work so you have proof that you are essential healthcare personnel.

MADISON, Wis.  — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is ordering the closure of all non-essential businesses starting Tuesday, and urging people to stay at home to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus that has killed four people in the state and infected at least nearly 400.

“I know this has been difficult and has disrupted the lives of people across our state. That’s why issuing a #SaferAtHome order isn’t something I thought we’d have to do, and it’s not something I take lightly,”

A few other key updates from incident command:

  1. Continued work on 24/7 call center.  Target is to have that functioning by the end of the week.
  2. Staffing pool is being organized and more direction coming in the next few days of how to access those resources.
  3. PPE supplies and direction around use, preservation, obtaining, etc… is all being worked on.  More to come soon on that topic.
  4. Community education: SH, Grant Regional and the County Health Department will be doing short radio announcements starting tomorrow. Those announcements will be used to continue to educate the community on what they should be doing and what to expect.
  5. Epione – is holding their own managing to keep the most frail of our communities healthy.
  6. Tele-medicine is being explored as a high priority.
  7. Testing is still in very short supply.  Multiple agencies nationwide working on expanding the testing capabilities.

Hang in there everyone!! Have a good evening

Dan

Message from March 23, 2020

Good Morning Everyone – Dr. Bogner has been asked to lead the clinical task force and develop a data repository for up-to-date information on dealing with this crisis.  This will supplement and enhance the clinical work from incident command.  There is still a lot of work to be done and the repository will continually change but this gives us a very good start to a central location to find information.

Thank you Dr. Bogner for taking the lead on this and thank you to all the other clinical leaders who are leading those teams!

Dan

IMPORTANT UPDATE RE: COVID-19 CLINICAL TASK FORCE

Please Read Carefully

The COVID-19 crisis has had wide ranging impacts on each of us, personally and professionally – and this will continue for some time. Your clinical and administrative leaders are working hard to ensure SH is prepared to do our part in managing this public health crisis.

Understandably, clinical staff have many questions about SH’s specific plans and initiatives, the current status of various recommendations from the CDC, Wisconsin Department of Health as well as internal details of clinical operations, policies and guidelines being put in place by SH to manage the COVID-19 crisis here.

We ask that ALL clinical staff refrain from broadly sending and forwarding emails regarding questions, concerns, updates, etc.  We have established the SHC COVID-19 Clinical Task Force (CTF) and this task force, among other things, has created teams to address each area of clinical concern and to keep a current repository of up-to-date information for all clinical staff.

Most of your questions should be answered by referring to the CTF “Home Page” (link below). These resources are being constantly updated. If you think there is something missing after reviewing the CTF Home Page, or have a question or update to provide that is not on the Home Page or in the links provided there, please contact the appropriate Team Leader noted on the CTF Home Page with your question, concern or update.  If your question is focused on a specific detail regarding operations in your clinical department, you should first contact your Department Manager as usual.

Please be patient as we navigate these unprecedented and extremely challenging times. Your administrative and clinical leaders have been working around the clock to get a handle on this and are doing our best to communicate with SH Staff.  This CTF Home Page and the references and links available to all SH Staff on that page should greatly facilitate the communication and also reduce confusion, stress and hopefully the overwhelming flow of emails, updates and questions which often distract us from the important work we all need to be focused upon. The recent flow of information has been high in volume but has not served us well by enabling easy access to the truly important information we do need to know.

Mark Bogner, MD

SHC COVID-19 Clinical Task Force (CTF)

Message from March 19, 2020

Good afternoon,

Updates:

Childcare

  • As all schools and now some daycares are closed related to the COVID-19 situation, there have been some questions around childcare.  Incident Command would like to develop a list of possible babysitters that we could provide to staff who find themselves with no childcare options.  With many of us having older high school and college children now back at home during this time, we are asking for you to talk with them.  If they have provided this service before and you (and them) are comfortable sharing that information with other employees who may need a babysitter, please respond to Miranda (Cc above).  If you are interested/available to potentially watch another employee’s children let us know that as well.
    • Please respond to Miranda (Cc above) if you or a family member you have discussed this would be willing to babysit for other employees during this time
      • Name:
      • Age:
      • Contact Number:
  • The below email is from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families as they are also working on a State level to try and support any child care needs for essential healthcare workers

Remote Web Information Access

  • As we start the process of staff not being on campus, we do want to encourage the use of the below link.  This link will bring you to an employee only section of our website accessible from anywhere.  We will keep this site updated with any information as well as messages from Incident Command.

Have a good evening,

Steve McCarthy

Message from March 18, 2020

Good evening all

This week has been a whirlwind, and as Incident Command met today, few areas we wanted to make staff aware of:

  • Incident Command structure and roles
    • We realized that while we have been focused on trying to stay current on changes from CDC and other sources, we may not have relayed to you what Incident Command is.  Attached you will see the structure and the individuals assigned to certain roles.  Incident Command is activated to deal with situations outside of normal operations to ensure decision making and communication follow a set path.
  • Organizational changes this week
    • The Platteville Clinic has designated a separate area of the clinic for all patients with upper respiratory infections and will continue to work on a process for protecting our staff and the public from spreading infections.
    • Marketing has set up an external Corona Virus webpage for the public and an internal Corona virus webpage for staff communication and information.

https://www.southwesthealth.org/coronavirus/

https://www.southwesthealth.org/coronavirus-internal/

    • The retail pharmacy has set up curb side pick-up to limit the amount of people coming into the hospital.
    • We are exploring telemed options and secured video conference capabilities
    • We have started to release some non-essential staff to work from home
  • Staff Illness:
    • If you’re sick, stay home (Fever >100.5°F, cough, shortness of breath).  Southwest Health suggests quarantine away from other healthy individuals at home. Please communicate with your leader that you are sick and not able to work.  We also suggest ALL employees monitor their own signs and symptoms of illness before coming in to work each shift (Fever >100.5°F, cough, shortness of breath).
    • Call triage 608-342-4330 opt 2 for further assistance if you are ill and feel like you need to be seen
    • Southwest Health/Employee health will be following up with you directly to determine your return to work date to limit exposure to other employees.
  • Misc
    • If you are having food delivered into the organization, instead of having the delivery driver walk around the building, have the food delivered to one of the entrances, then please call the desk the food will be delivered to so we know who to call? (Main entrance x2215, Clinic entrance x2366)

Thank you again for all you do!

Steve McCarthy, Chief Operating Officer

Quarantine  Recommendations for those potentially exposed

 For patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who are recovering in a home (non-hospital) setting, isolation may be discontinued when both of the following have occurred:
1. The patient is free of fever, productive cough and other acute symptoms of respiratory infection for 72 hours. AND
2. 14 days has elapsed from the day the patient first experienced symptoms.
Asymptomatic contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case, with medium or high risk exposure, may be released from quarantine 14 days after the last time they were in close contact or shared an indoor living environment with a person with confirmed COVID-19. For people living in the same home, Day 1 of their quarantine would be the day after the case-patient is free of fever, productive cough, and other acute symptoms of respiratory infection.

HIPAA Privacy Awareness for COVID-19

Southwest Health takes patient privacy very seriously.  As we take more precautions on protecting our employees and patients, please be mindful of patient privacy and security.  For those working from home, please make sure you are securing your computers as I’m sure many of you have others in the home.  There is a lot happening with COVID-19 and as time goes on, we will likely start to see more and more.  As we go through this time, don’t let curiosity get the best of you.  We are all professionals.  HIPAA protects the privacy of protected health information and it contains provisions that allow information to be shared for treatment purposes and in public health emergencies.  If you are receiving these calls from the public or from the media, please direct them to Shelly Barth, HIM Director (ext. 2298) and she will respond in the correct manner.  If you have questions regarding HIPAA during this matter, please reach out to her or your leader.

Have a good evening

Steve McCarthy

 

March 25, 2020 Update

March 23, 2020 Update 2

March 23, 2020 Update

March 18, 2020 Update 2

March 18, 2020 Update

March 17, 2020 Update

March 15, 2020 Update