For Employees: Coronavirus Resources and Updates

Read the Latest Huddlesheet

Information on this page will be updated frequently. For additional information on specific human resources and clinical procedures, please visit the Pulse subsite, accessible from the Pulse homepage

If you have a patient facing role, please watch this short video to understand the correct procedure for donning and doffing PPE. For more information on PPE, including tutorials and instructions, please open the Infection Prevention expandable section below.

Well patients or visitors with concerns about coronavirus are encouraged to call the Colorado Help Line (CO HELP) at 303-389-1687 or email COHELP@RMPDC.org.

Visit the Denver Health Coronavirus page to learn about recent news updates and general COVID-19 information.

Coronavirus Patient Page

Follow Our Denver Health YouTube Playlist on Coronavirus

Denver Health employees who believe they've been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing novel coronavirus symptoms (cough, fever or shortness of breath) are encouraged to take the new staff health survey. This replaces the OUCH Line process. If survey results indicate that your risk is high enough to warrant testing, a provider will contact you. If you have symptoms, take the survey and notify your supervisor. Stay at home in a separate area from family members and pets, and drink plenty of fluids. Call your primary care provider if your symptoms get worse. 

Take our COVID-19 Employee Testing Survey to help us determine if you've been exposed to COVID-19 and need to be tested.

Have questions? Please email COVID-19@dhha.org.

Submit a COVID 19 question button Staff Health Survey Button

Frequent Questions

Denver Health Frequent Questions - Updated 3/31/20

Employee Screening & Testing FAQ

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) FAQ

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) FAQs

How to Request Remote Access and Virtual Private Access (VPN) Policy

 

Latest Episode of DHTV

Clinical Care

Operating Room Instructions for Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 Patients

Operating Room Instructions for Non COVID-19 Patients

Denver Health COVID-19 Treatment Guidance

Providers Resources from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE)

Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 

Testing Guidelines from the CDC

Community Testing Center

Standard Work for COVID-19 Inpatients

Home Quarantine Guidance

Antibiotic Treatment Study

List of Aerosol-Generating Procedures

Infants Born to COVID-19 Moms

Person Under Investigation (PUI) Criteria

Testing and Specimen Collection

Instructions for Nasopharyngeal Swab Collection 

Personal Protective Equipment

Cardiac Stepdown Stabilization

Adult DKA Floor Protocol

Lorazepam Protocol

Phenobarbital Protocol

 

Health Alert Network (HAN) Alerts:

CDC HAN Alerts 

CDC Webinar

Person Under Investigation (PUI) Criteria

Denver Health recommends the following testing strategy:

1. Test patients being admitted to the hospital or hospitalized and place them in and airborne isolation room (AIIR)

  •  Special respiratory isolation: droplet and contact precautions plus eye protection (escalate to airborne precautions if aerosol-generating procedure)

2. Test HCW with symptoms

  • If negative and symptoms resolve, return to work 24 hours after afebrile for 24 hours without fever-reducing medications
  • If negative and symptoms continue, retest after 72 hours
  • If positive, return to work 72 hours after afebrile without fever-reducing medications
  • If not tested, return to work 72 hours after afebrile without fever-reducing medications

 

PUI Criteria for Testing


Testing & Specimen Collection

The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) has broadened the criteria for testing of COVID-19. Neither the infectious diseases consultation service nor public health official need to be notified if you are considering testing.

If the patient meets the new CDPHE testing criteria, follow these steps to collect a nasopharyngeal specimen, using the "coronavirus (COVID-19)" order:

  1. Apply Contact and Droplet Precautions, plus Eye Protection

  2. Collect a single nasopharyngeal swab specimen. Previously, the test required both nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal specimens.

  3. Send COVID-19 specimens via hand delivery, not the pneumatic tube system. If a specimen leaks or spills, the system would be down for hours.

Please conserve supplies and personnel resources for essential COVID-19 tests in order to maintain testing capacity at Denver Health and CDPHE.

  • Test patients only if it will change your clinical management. Scripting will be available on the Pulse in the near future for patients who do not meet our new clinical testing recommendations. Inpatients – These are our highest priority for testing. All patients with suspected coronavirus who are being admitted to the hospital should be tested. Outpatients – Healthcare workers and first responders with mild to moderate symptoms, including those who provide direct patient care and perform essential services, may be tested, as a negative result could allow them to return to work sooner. Patients with mild to moderate illness and risk factors for severe illness (≥65 y.o., cardiovascular disease, lung disease, diabetes, immunosuppressed) may be tested at the clinician's judgment.
  • If an outpatient being tested does not need to be admitted to a hospital, discharge the patient with guidance to self quarantine until results come back. Additional tests, such as a CBC, CXR, or influenza/RSV swab, are often indicated based on the patient's clinical presentation to determine if a different cause of symptoms is present. The clinician may use judgment in whether all, some, or none of these tests are indicated.
  • Do not call the laboratory for COVID-19 results. The laboratory has been receiving calls from patients and providers regarding COVID-19 testing results. It is inappropriate to disrupt the technicians' workflow. Additionally, laboratory technicians do not provide test results directly to patients. Providers and clinical staff members should look for test results in Epic. Results are entered as soon as they are received from reference laboratories.

Call Infection Prevention (x22847), email COVID-19@dhha.org, or page ID attending on AmIon for further questions.

Key Points

  • The testing capability in Colorado is updating regularly, so check the CDPHE's new COVID-19 website for the most up-to-date guidance on PUI and testing criteria.

  • Specimens from patients who do not meet criteria, and specimens that do not meet the submission guidance below will not be tested.

  • Asymptomatic people should not be tested.

  • COVID-19 specimen collection kits are available for pickup in the micro lab. The collected specimen must be hand-delivered back to the micro lab.  Do not use the pneumatic tube system.

CDPHE Laboratory Submission Guidance

  • The State Laboratory at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is operating seven days a week, testing for COVID-19. The lab will perform two testing runs daily, at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. All test requests and required information must be at the lab and approved one hour prior to the scheduled run.

  • With current staffing and equipment resources, the state lab has the capacity to test up to 160 samples per day, assuming test kits from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are continuously available.

  • Turnaround time for results is expected to be within 24 hours of receipt of specimens at the State Laboratory. Confirmatory testing on positive specimens will be performed at CDC but will not delay reporting or our public health response.

  • Currently acceptable sample types include nasopharyngeal (NP) and/or oropharyngeal (OP) swabs in viral transport media. Additional sample types may be requested by CDPHE on a case-by-case basis (including lower respiratory specimens for patients with more severe illness). Store samples at 2-8oC for up to 72 hours post collection; after 72 hours samples must be frozen.

  • At this time, there is no cost associated with COVID-19 testing at the State Laboratory. Depending on insurance status, patients may still be charged for their health care visit; please make sure the patient understands this if you are recommending that they seek care for the purpose of COVID-19 testing.

Denver Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) Order Set & Specimen Collection Process - Please visit the Pulse subsite for more details


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE Recommendations

Special respiratory isolation is

  • Contact precautions (gown and gloves)
  • Droplet precautions (surgical mask)
  • Eye protection (face mask or goggles)
  • Escalation airborne precautions (N95 mask or PAPR) if aerosol-generating procedure is performed

Rooming

Single-person room with the door closed for outpatients, including outpatients and those in the emergency department or urgent care settings

Airborne Infection Isolation Rooms (AIIRs) for all inpatients

Supply Shortage & Preservation

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is in short supply in the United States, and Denver Health is seeing the same shortages. In order to preserve our supplies, we recommend the following changes to our use of PPE, effective immediately:

Surgical Masks and N95

Patient-facing inpatient providers should wear a mask continuously throughout the day. Employees shall obtain one mask at the beginning of their shift and wear it continuously throughout the day including in hallways and in break rooms. Most employees will don a surgical mask for the duration of their shift. Employees who care for patients who have frequent aerosol-generating procedures should don an N95 mask for the duration of their shift. It should only be removed for eating and drinking. Replace the mask with a new one if it becomes saturated, soiled, damaged, or contaminated with blood or body fluids. Wash your hands well before and after touching your mask.

These recommendations do NOT apply to sterile environments (e.g. Operating Room). 

N95 Mask Collection

At this time, N95 masks are being collected, sterilized, and stored only for future use in the event of a critical mask shortage. Currently, only new N95 masks are being distributed, and our supply of new N95 masks is adequate. In the event that we must use reprocessed masks in the future, this will be disclosed to providers.

Eye Shields

Patient-facing inpatient providers should wear a face shield (preferred) or eye protection over the mask when seeing patients with undifferentiated respiratory tract infection. The face shield or eye protectoin should be cleaned with a purple top or bleach wipe before and after each use, placed outside the room, and reused until it is damaged or contamined with blood or body fluids. 

Gowns/Gloves

We no longer require contact precautions for MRSA in both outpatient and inpatient settings. As always, standard precautions should be followed. Contact precautions for other multidrug resistant organisms, including VRE, ESBL, CRE, and C. difficile, will continue unchanged. Gowns and gloves remain as single patient, single use items. 

Email Updates

 Navigate to an Email Update

4/1/20 Huddle Sheet: Telehealth, Epic Data, Policies

Supply Orders

You may not order supplies, and you will not be reimbursed if you do not follow the current procedures in place for processing orders. For COVID-19 equipment and supply requests that are not part of normal, day-to-day operations, please send your requests to Selena Frederick with Purchasing. She will coordinate using the COVID-19 AU to pay for new requirements related to COVID-19. This process will ensure that we can capture DH’s COVID-19 costs and have vetted the right supplies. This process includes capital equipment requests as well.

Telehealth

Denver Health is proud to be rolling out telehealth options for our patients! Now more than ever, it’s critical that our patients continue to get the care they need from providers. Attached you will find a Telehealth FAQ for our patients that answers questions surrounding telehealth and instructions on what applications are needed in order to schedule a phone or video appointment. 

 

All dental clinics go live today, April 1, with Telehealth TelephoneVideo Visits are rolling out across ambulatory clinics with a goal of getting most on board within the next week.  

Clinical Updates

COVID-19 Epic Tagging:

Please continue to add the Special Respiratory Precautions on all suspected COVID-19 patients in their Epic chart under Isolation Status. See below for the appropriate tagging.

COVID-19 Dashboard Data

Each day, you will receive an attachment to this huddle sheet with five data points covering COVID-19 data in Epic. Please keep this information in-house. Do not distribute outside of Denver Health.

 Clinical Documents Related to COVID-19

If your area needs COVID-19 specific policies, guidelines, procedures or standard work, including adaptation or suspension of existing policies, there is a process and a specific place to find them.  An attachment has instructions on how to work around these needs. It can also be found on the Pulse subsite.

Any approved guidelines will be cross referenced to any current similar policy in Policy Stat and have an added statement related to COVID-19 shown in the highlighted image below.

Resources

Denver Health Coronavirus Education:

 

Helpful Links:

Feel good links:

 Please email COVID-19@dhha.org with any questions.

3/31/20 Huddle Sheet: Scrubs, Sign Sheets

Each day, you will receive a COVID-19 update, focused on new policy changes, additional resources and updates on the spread of the pandemic. Please print this out to share as a Huddle Sheet with your team.

Today’s Updates

Scrub Returns

As a reminder, all Denver Health scrubs should be returned at the end of shift and laundered at Denver Health. Please do not bring scrubs home or store scrubs in your lockers. At this time we are working urgently to ensure all providers have access to clean scrubs. To view the full policy on scrubs click here.

Please note, we are in the process of evaluating the need for additional scrub stations in specific areas of the hospital.. 

Clinical Updates

Appropriate Signage for Suspected and Confirmed COVID-19 Patient Rooms

Specialized Respiratory signs (Yellow) are to be posted on the doors of all suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patient rooms. Specialized Respiratory signs indicate that the required PPE includes a gown, a surgical mask, gloves and eye protection.

If any aerosol-generating procedures are to be performed, isolation should be escalated to Airborne and an Airborne sign (Pink) also needs to be posted on the door, indicating that all staff who enter the room need to wear an N95 mask instead of a surgical mask.

N95 Collection Bins

Nothing but N95 masks should be placed in the collection bins – specifically no gowns, gloves, or other PPE.

N95 Sterile Processing Information

  • Please do not write on N95 masks. Pens and markers may damage the protective barrier of the mask. Because of this risk these masks are being discarded.
  • Many N95 masks are being received with makeup visible on the inside – these are all being discarded rather than being reprocessed. Please consider refraining from wearing makeup if you will be wearing an N95 respirator during your shift.

 

HR Updates

Employees, Screeners and the Visitor Policy

As a reminder, the Denver Health Visitor Policy applies to both patients and employees. Please follow the guidance provided by the screeners and treat them with kindness and respect. If you believe there has been an error made by the screeners, please speak with your supervisor or email covid-19@dhha.org for further clarification.

All Denver Health staff—including care providers, contractors and vendors, must abide by the posted visitor policy. If you are a Denver Health staff member please:

  • Always present your badge. If you leave your badge in your department, you will have to request a coworker bring it down to you.
  • No friends or family are allowed on campus or in buildings for breaks or to drop off belongings.
  • Only be on campus if you are working or being seen as a patient.
  • Do not bring children with you if you are being seen as a patient. Per the visitor policy, no children under the age of 15 are allowed.

Remember, the visitor policy is in place to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and to protect all employees, patients and visitors.

 

Reminders

Social Media Policy

Our staff are the most valuable influencers of Denver Health. Many of our family, friends and communities are reaching out to us for reassurance and information. Please remember that what you post on social media impacts your peers, patients and visitors. Posting any patient information or images on social media is a violation of HIPAA, PHI and Denver Health’s social media policy.

Subway Hours have changed

As of 9:00 PM on Sunday, March 29, Subway (1st floor, Pav B) will temporarily adjust their hours from 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM, 7 days a week until further notice.

Resources

Denver Health Coronavirus Education:

 

Helpful Links:

Feel good links:

Please email COVID-19@dhha.org with any questions.

3/30/20 Huddle Sheet: End-of-Life Visitors, Mask Shipment

Each day, you will receive a COVID-19 update, focused on new policy changes, additional resources and updates on the spread of the pandemic. Please print this out to share as a Huddle Sheet with your team.

Today’s Updates

Updated End-of-Life Visitor Guidelines

Denver Health has updated its visitor guidelines for End-of-Life situations: 2 designated visitors are allowed (no substitutions).

  • This is for all end-of-life patients (not just COVID-19+).
  • If visitors have COVID-19 symptoms, they are not allowed to visit the facility.
  • Visitors for COVID-19+ patients will receive PPE (including gowns, gloves and surgical masks) when they arrive on the unit and will be provided instructions on how to use PPE by unit staff. Any visitor who refuses to use PPE will not be allowed.
  • A smart device will be suggested to communicate with those not designated as an approved visitor. Patients are still not allowed to record, but they may “transmit” video for the purpose of communicating with families.

 

** Attached in this email are the end-of-life policies in both English and Spanish.

** Guidelines for non-end-of-life visitors can be found here.

 

Clinical Updates

 

PPE Shipments Received and En Route

Denver Health is starting to receive shipments of new PPE as of this week. This will help immensely with the anticipated shortages we are seeing across the country. These shipments include new N95 masks, gowns, gloves, isolation kits, wipes and crocs.

 

Please be patient as these shipments make their way to our facility. At this time protocol on properly cleaning and reusing PPE remains the same. These protocols are being followed per CDC recommendations.

 

Update to N95 notification to IP team

To improve N95 distribution efficiency, the IP team no longer needs to be notified of N95 mask distribution for our COVID-19 units which include: MICU, 3B, PCU, 4B, ED, AUCC and PES. CS will distribute N95 per Charge RN (or other unit Leadership) request without need for IP approval. ALL other inpatient and outpatient locations will continue to call IP for approval prior to N95 distribution.

 

 

Clarification regarding reprocessing of N95 masks

  • At this time, N95 masks are being collected, sterilized, and stored ONLY for future use in the event of a critical mask shortage
  • N95 masks that are currently being distributed to our providers on a daily basis are NEW masks, NOT reprocessed masks
  • Currently, our supply of new N95 masks is adequate
  • In the event that we must use reprocessed masks in the future, this will be disclosed to providers

 

Dental Clinic emergency services
All six dental clinics continue to be open Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

For dental emergencies after hours and on weekends, DH medical providers can be directed to call (303) 461-8999 for direction by one of our on-call dentists. Per CDC, ADA, state and federal official guidelines we will continue to postpone elective procedures, surgeries, and non-urgent dental visits, and prioritize urgent and emergency visits and procedures now and for the coming several weeks.

 

Reminders        

Staff to Donate in Blood Drives

There are still four spots open for the April 10th blood drive. Sign up for a slot to donate here. The partnership with Children's Hospital Colorado will help build up essential supplies to prepare for an anticipated shortage of blood products. Your donation will help us to continue to meet our patients' needs. Those who have traveled in the past 28 days are not permitted to donate at this time.

Subway Hours have changed

As of 9:00 PM on Sunday, March 29, Subway (1st floor, Pav B) will temporarily adjust their hours from 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM, 7 days a week until further notice.

                                                                                                                   

Resources

Denver Health Coronavirus Education:

 

Helpful Links:

 

Feel good links:

 

National Doctors’ Day

Today is National Doctors’ Day. Now more than ever, we want to recognize our physicians and the incredible care they provide to patients year-round. Take some time to thank a doctor today!

 

Please email COVID-19@dhha.org with any questions.

 

3/29/20 Huddle Sheet: Masks and Shields 

Each day, you will receive a COVID-19 update, focused on new policy changes, additional resources and updates on the spread of the pandemic. Please print this out to share as a Huddle Sheet with your team.

Today’s Updates

Helpful Hints and Reminders About Our Current PPE Usage Guidelines.

1)      Masks are to be worn only by staff who are “patient-facing.” Staff members are patient-facing if they have face-to-face encounters with patients on a regular basis throughout the day.

2)      Not everyone who is present on your floor or unit is patient-facing. For example, pharmacy techs do not enter patient rooms and therefore do not wear masks.

3)      You should replace your mask when it is damaged (i.e. torn). Do not try to tape a damaged mask back together. Also replace your mask if it becomes soiled, contaminated, or saturated.

4)      Remember to manipulate your mask as little as possible. Hand hygiene should always be performed prior to and after touching the mask.

5)      COVID treatment units have full face shields available for use; these provide you and your N95 mask more complete protection from droplets. Please use these face shields and don’t cover your N95 with a surgical mask in order to protect it. After doffing the face shield, remember to wipe it inside and out with a purple-top wipe and leave on the isolation cart.

6)      If face shields are not available on a COVID unit, they likely just need to be restocked. Ask the charge nurse to call Central Supply at 2-7999 or Infection Prevention at 2-2847.

 

Reminders        

Subway Hours are Changing

As of 9:00 PM on Sunday, March 29, Subway (1st floor, Pav B) will temporarily adjust their hours from 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM, 7 days a week until further notice.

Resources

Denver Health Coronavirus Education

Helpful Links:

 

Please email COVID-19@dhha.org with any questions.

3/28/20 Huddle Sheet

Each day, you will receive a COVID-19 update, focused on new policy changes, additional resources and updates on the spread of the pandemic. Please print this out to share as a Huddle Sheet with your team.

Today’s Updates

 COVID-19 Positive Staff – Who Needs to Know?

At this time, there is widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in the Denver area and everyone is advised to consider themselves exposed. Because of this, there does not need to be any specific communication to care areas when an employee tests positive for COVID-19. All providers should continuously monitor themselves and fill out the staff survey if they develop symptoms.

Denver Health T-shirt Fridays

Incident Command and Denver Health leadership have decided to allow staff to wear Denver Health T-shirts on Fridays, beginning Friday, April 3. Those in patient care positions should follow their specific department protocols. For more guidance, please check with your supervisor.

Short Term Disability Payment Information

Questions have arisen about the Short Term Disability benefits available to you through Denver Health. Benefit eligible employees (.5 FTE and above) are eligible for Short Term Disability benefits the first day of the month following date of hire. The Short Term Disability plan (the Plan) replaces a portion of your income when you are medically unable to work due to a non-job related illness or injury. The plan replaces 60% of your income or 70% of your income if you purchased the buy-up option. The benefits paid to you under this plan are not subject to income taxes. Additionally, your portion of your medical, dental and vision premiums are not taken from these benefit payments while you are disabled. As a result, the benefit payment you receive will be close to your pre-disability take home pay for your regularly scheduled work. Benefits under the Plan take effect on the 8th calendar day that you have missed work due to illness or injury. Employees who test positive for COVID-19 will receive 100% of their pre-disability earnings for the calendar week prior to the benefits starting. Employees who are out for any other reason will use either PTO or will go unpaid during the first week of disability.

In order to start a Short Term claim, please fill out the Short Term Disability application which can be found on the Pulse at: http://pulse/administrative/hr/fmla/default.aspx

Employees can also contact the Leave of Absence office by e-mailing: loafmlprocess@dhha.org

What You May Have Missed This Week

Personal Protective Equipment

In the setting of suspected or confirmed coronavirus, the WHO and CDC recommend that health care workers wear a gown and gloves, surgical mask, and eye protection with escalation to an N95 mask or PAPR when an aerosol-generating procedure is being performed. Denver Health is following these recommendations. However, given our increasing number of inpatient cases and more solid personal protective equipment (PPE) reserves, we have made modifications to the recommended PPE in certain areas. Check with your manager or supervisor for details on updates to the PPE recommended for your role.

N95 Respirator Mask Reprocessing Program: What We’re Doing and How You Can Help

While Denver Health does not have an impending shortage of N95 masks, we are unwilling to rely on the supply chain as our sole plan for replenishment. Solutions such as homemade masks are inadequate and unpredictable. Therefore, alternative plans including the reprocessing of used N95 masks using low-temperature sterilization need to be investigated and the collection of USED N95 MASKS should begin immediately.

 

At the end of your shift, place your used (not visibly soiled or damaged) N95 mask in a designated collection container on your unit. Do not place used surgical/procedure masks in the collection containers. If you have questions, please contact your leader.

 

DHHA COVID-19 Employee Resources
Many local hotels are offering discounted room rates to Denver Health Employees during this crisis. Please follow the link below for a list of participating hotels and the rates they are offering our employees, and instructions on how to book. Employees are responsible for booking their own rooms, and are responsible for all charges incurred. DHHA COVID-19 Employee Resources

Reminders

Employee ID Badge

Please remember to wear your employee ID badge prominently at all times while at work. Under the city and state Stay-at-Home orders, your badge will provide sufficient evidence of your role as an essential worker

How can I keep myself and my family safe?

  • Hand hygiene. Wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer multiple times per day, particularly after touching your mask or touching a patient.
  • Practice social distancing. Keep 6 feet away from your coworkers and from patients whenever possible.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth. If you do contact your face, please perform hand hygiene again.
  • Stay home if you are ill. If you have fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please fill out the COVID-19 Employee Survey to determine if you need coronavirus testing.

 

Resources

 

Denver Health Coronavirus Education

 

Helpful Links:

 

Please email COVID-19@dhha.org with any questions.

 

 

3/27/20 Huddle Sheet: Returning to Work, Hotel Rates

Each day, you will receive a COVID-19 update, focused on new policy changes, additional resources and updates on the spread of the pandemic. Please print this out to share as a Huddle Sheet with your team.

Today’s Updates

Returning to Work After COVID-19 Criteria

To return to work, your symptoms must be better and you must be fever-free while off antipyretics for 72 hours and at least seven days must have passed since your symptoms began.

 

Subway Hours are Changing

As of 9:00 PM on Sunday, March 29, Subway (1st floor, Pav B) will temporarily adjust their hours from 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM, 7 days a week until further notice.

 

Green Scrub Credit Limit

For current green scrub users, we are changing the Scrub Ex credit limit to 2 effective immediately. We are now asking that all scrub machine users return unused green scrubs to the Scrub Ex machines immediately. If you have any issues getting scrubs from the Scrub Ex machine, please read the instructions posted on the machine.

Clinical Updates

In-House Testing: We continue to explore our current testing capacity and determine how our services can be expanded. We are training additional staff on the M2000 in the hopes that we can run back-to-back specimen plates and increase the number of tests performed each day. For accurate test results, it is imperative we are collecting good specimens. Please make sure your team is aware of the step-by-step instruction for collecting a Nasopharyngeal Swab. Instructions are available on the Pulse.

Reminders

 Employee ID Badge

Please remember to wear your employee ID badge prominently at all times while at work. Under the city and state Stay-at-Home orders, your badge will provide sufficient evidence of your role as an essential worker.

Resources

DHHA COVID-19 Employee Resources
Many local hotels are offering discounted room rates to Denver Health Employees during this crisis. Please follow the link below for a list of participating hotels and the rates they are offering our employees, and instructions on how to book. Employees are responsible for booking their own rooms, and are responsible for all charges incurred. DHHA COVID-19 Employee Resources

Denver Health Coronavirus Education

Helpful Links:

Please email COVID-19@dhha.org with any questions.

 

3/26/20 RISE, N95 Collection, Blood Drives

Each day, you will receive a COVID-19 update, focused on new policy changes, additional resources and updates on the spread of the pandemic. Please print this out to share as a Huddle Sheet with your team.

Today’s Updates

Resilience in Stressful Events (RISE): Peer Support for Caregivers in Distress

Denver Health RISE is a hospital-based program created by Johns Hopkins Medicine and Maryland Patient Safety Center. DH RISE Peer Responders are available 24/7 to provide immediate, confidential peer-to-peer support to all caregivers who experience distressing events at work – the unexpected loss of a patient; a troubling encounter with a family member; an adverse clinical care situation; workplace violence; or a medication error. Email DHRISE@dhha.org or call 303-436-RISE for more information.

Our team offers emotional support, psychological first-aid and connection to resources and information as needed. Some of the options available to you include:

1. Contact the RISE line to access individual, 1:1 emotional support and psychological first-aid –303-436-RISE (7473)

2. Request a department-specific RISE Group Support opportunity virtually (by Zoom) – any leader can call RISE line to activate this or email dhrise@dhha.org

3. Refer team members to multi-disciplinary virtual RISE Group Support for Covid-19-Related Distress scheduled to roll-out next week at a frequency of 2x/week (held via Zoom)

4. RISE Up in the Child Life Zone - Visit the new re-purposed Child Life Zone located in Pav C, 2nd Floor by the visitor elevators. This offers staff a dedicated space for self-care and reflection. Staffed with RISE Peer Responders; resources; snacks; beverages; games. Hours of operation 7 AM – 9 PM, 7 Days a Week (hours subject to change based on staffing availability).

Training Deadline Extended

The deadline to complete Mandatory Cornerstone Training, to include Research Compliance Training, has been extended to August 9, 2020.

Reminders

N95 Masks are Being Collected After Every Shift
At the end of your shift, place your used (not visibly soiled or damagedN95 mask in a designated collection container on your unit. Do not place used surgical/procedure masks in the collection containers. If you have questions, please contact your leader.

PPE and Supply Offers

Please direct all inquiries and solicitation for purchase of PPE and supplies to COVID_VENDORS@dhha.org for research and validation. If an individual or company reaches out wishing to make a donation (N95 masks, other PPE or supplies), please direct them to Linda Ford, Executive Director for the Denver Health foundation at linda.ford@dhha.org.

Blood Drive on Friday

Our first Employee Blood Drive is happening on Friday morning in partnership with Children’s Hospital Colorado. If you signed up to donate, please be on time. The next opportunity to participate is on Friday, April 3. Please note that we are in particular need for donors with A+ blood.

Resources
Denver Health Coronavirus Education

 Helpful Links:

 Please email COVID-19@dhha.org with any questions.

 

Surge Plan and Labor Pool 

Dear Leaders,

As we anticipate a surge in staffing needs, it will be critical that leaders follow the Labor Pool Process. We are prioritizing placements based on organizational needs.

Contact the Labor Pool if you, 1) have a staffing vacancy outside of your normal operations and can’t fill within your department, OR 2) have an employee(s) who needs hours you can’t provide in your department. You (the leader) must make the request to the labor pool and not the individual employee.

Process for Leaders:

  1. Leader makes a request via the Labor Pool Request form
  2. Labor pool will reach out directly to the leader for verification of request
  3. Labor pool will reach out directly to employee to discuss placement
  4. Labor pool places employee / fills vacancy and sends confirmation to leader

*If we are actively working on fulfilling an existing request it is not necessary to submit a new request form.

Placement Expectations:

The Labor Pool will attempt to place employees in comparable positions and shifts, but this can’t be guaranteed. All employees are considered essential and may be needed in different positions and shifts. Regular clinical needs are handled through the appropriate float pool whenever possible.

Please Note: If staffing decisions are made without sending the request through the Labor Pool, leaders will pay these hours through their own AU and NOT the Labor Pool AU.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation as we all join together to support the needs of our employees, our patients and our community.

Sincerely,

The Labor Pool Team

 

If you have questions please contact us at laborpool@dhha.org or ex 20850


3/26/20 CEO Message: We All Make a Difference

Dear colleagues,

We are now into our third week of coronavirus. I am proud of what we are achieving and grateful for every one of you as we rise to this challenge.

 The hospital Incident Command Center (ICC) continues to coordinate all COVID-19 activities. We have a team of experienced staff from across all hospital functions to ensure that our response is well managed and resourced. Each team has designated its “five-deep” structure, meaning that we have five people in each area, with each person playing a role in a week-by-week command center schedule. This is a marathon, not a sprint, so we are preparing for the weeks and months ahead. Across all areas of operations, it’s important that we look after ourselves and our co-workers, so that we can care for our patients.

 Preparations are well underway for the increase in critical care patients we expect in the coming weeks. Sadly, we know that the situation will get worse, before it gets better. There is remarkable work being done in so many areas, and I wanted to share a few items to highlight the excellence and innovation we are seeing every day.

· We have developed a surge plan to expand our Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity. Cabling is underway, we’re installing monitors and ventilators, all of which will grow our ICU capacity to over 100 beds. Preparations to safely operationalize this, such as staff training and support, are also underway.

· We have set up a labor pool process, to determine where we need staff for the forthcoming demand, and to re-deploy employees to the areas of greatest need.

· Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a major priority to safeguard the health of staff. We do not have an imminent shortage of masks and gowns at this time and. However, we must be good stewards of this essential resource. We are looking at innovative ways to safely re-process and re-use PPE, and these decisions are being informed not only by our own infectious disease experts, but experts from the CDC, OSHA and other key agencies.

· Telehealth is up and running, and, where possible, most visits are now converting to phone appointments for the convenience, and wellbeing of our clinicians and patients. We are working to move to more video televisits.

· Denver Health launched its own COVID-19 testing less than one week ago and we’re already exploring ways to expand and improve.

· We’ve seen a great response from staff to participate in our COVID-19 Employee Testing Survey. The survey helps us understand who may have been exposed and prioritize testing for staff most in need.

· The Denver Health Nurse Line has experience a huge increase in calls. They have hired more staff and continue to work relentlessly, responding to up to 1,600 calls per day, which is about eight times the typical volume.

· We will run our first employee blood drive on Friday, which is already fully booked, but we have two more events scheduled on April 3 and 10.

 

This situation continues to bring out the best in people. Every day, I see and hear examples of how our values are shining through in the work we do. We are also seeing our community rally around Denver Health. I continue to advocate for Denver Health in the community – among partner organizations, the business sector and with donors. The response has been meaningful and heartwarming, with donations of PPE, food for our staff, and financial support.

 

Denver Health has been caring for our community for 160 years, and we plan to be here for generations to come. Together, we can all make a difference.

 

Thank you for everything you do.

 

Robin

 

Robin D. Wittenstein, Ed.D., FACHE

Chief Executive Officer

 

3/25/20 Huddle Sheet: Donations, Working from Home 

Each day, you will receive a COVID-19 update, focused on new policy changes, additional resources and updates on the spread of the pandemic. Please print this out to share as a Huddle Sheet with your team.

Today’s Updates

COVID_VENDORS Email Communication

In light of the national PPE shortage, Denver Health and its employees are receiving countless inquiries and offers of supplies from manufacturers and individuals eager to help. To streamline these solicitations, a COVID_VENDORS@dhha.org email has been created. Please direct all inquiries and solicitation for purchase to this email address for discovery and validation.

If an individual or company reaches out wishing to make a donation (N95 masks, other PPE or supplies), please direct them to Linda Ford, Executive Director for the Denver Health foundation at linda.ford@dhha.org.

Clinical Updates

N95 Respirator Mask Reprocessing Program: What We’re Doing and How You Can Help

While Denver Health does not have an impending shortage of N95 masks, we are unwilling to rely on the supply chain as our sole plan for replenishment. Solutions such as homemade masks are inadequate and unpredictable. Therefore, alternative plans including the reprocessing of used N95 masks using low-temperature sterilization need to be investigated and the collection of USED N95 MASKS should begin immediately.

At the end of your shift, place your used (not visibly soiled or damagedN95 mask in a designated collection container on your unit. Do not place used surgical/procedure masks in the collection containers. If you have questions, please contact your leader.

 

 

COVID-19 Surge Plan

There are many teams who have been preparing for the hospital bed and staff expansion required to take care of incoming critically ill COVID-19 patients. While the plan evolves daily, here are some of the currently activated and planned components:

  • We are attempting to create both medical-surgical and intensive care units that are dedicated to managing confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients. For now, the MICU, PCU, 3B, and 4B are the designated units for housing COVID-19 patients.
  • In anticipation of more ICU demand, we have already converted PCU to an ICU and will soon turn 3B into an ICU. Future plans have not yet been solidified for other ICU conversions.
  • The SICU will serve non- COVID-19 patients who need both surgical and medical ICU care.
  • We are attempting to open up medical surgical bed capacity by transitioning the OASIS unit to an offsite location.

We will continue to communicate updates to this plan.

 HR Updates

 Work from Home extended through Saturday, April 4th

We are now a week-and-a-half into our work from home (WFH) initiative. So much has changed in this short period of time; most noticeably the “Stay at Home” order from Mayor Hancock. Balancing the needs of the organization with our duty to protect the welfare of our employees and community, we have decided to extend the WFH guidelines in order to increase social distancing. Please speak with your leader if you are NOT currently working from home, but believe you are a good candidate to do so.

 Speak with your leader to answer all work arrangement questions, such as;

  • If you feel you would be more effective by taking assignments through the Incident Command Center Labor Pool,
  • If you have the capacity for more work while working from home,
  • If you are unable to do your work from home, please speak with your supervisor.

*All staff are essential and may be asked to come into work and take assignments through the Labor Pool.

 Reminders

 Purple-Top Wipes

Please be mindful about how you’re utilizing purple-top wipes. It is critical that we use all of our resources wisely, and purple-tops should be used for disinfecting equipment, surfaces in patient rooms, face shields, etc. Please do not use them for personal devices, office supplies, etc. We are working on alternatives to help you clean these items and will update you as soon as we can.

 Resources

Denver Health Coronavirus Education

 Helpful Links:

 

Please email COVID-19@dhha.org with any questions.

 
 

3/24/20 N-95 RESPIRATOR MASK REPROCESSING PROGRAM:

What We’re Doing and How You Can Help

Situation: PPE is in short supply around the world. N95 masks are among the tools needed to keep healthcare workers safe.

Background: While Denver Health does not have an impending shortage of N95 masks, we are unwilling to rely on the supply chain as our sole plan for replenishment. Solutions such as homemade masks are inadequate and unpredictable.

Assessment: Alternative plans including the reprocessing of used N95 masks using low-temperature sterilization need to be investigated and the collection of USED N95 MASKS should begin immediately.

Recommendation: At the end of your shift, place your used (not visibly soiled or damaged) N95 mask in a designated collection container on your unit. Do not place used surgical/procedure masks in the collection containers – Only N95 masks.

  • Currently, new N95s are subjected to low-temperature sterilization when distributed for use – this process has not compromised either the filtration or the integrity.
  • This is an established FDA approved technique for reprocessing other single-use devices
  • Masks will be collected for reprocessing, validation and storage in the event they are needed.

    IMPORTANT: REPROCESSED MASKS WILL ONLY BE PUT INTO CIRCULATION IF:

    • THE STERILIZATION PROCESS IS VALIDATED
    • THERE IS A COMPLETE DEPLETION OF OUR SUPPLY OF NEW MASKS
    • >FULL DISCLOSURE IS GIVEN TO THE WEARER OF THE REPROCESSED DEVICE

 

3/24/20 Huddlesheet: Blood Drive, Staff Testing, Labor Pool

Each day, you will receive a COVID-19 update, focused on new policy changes, additional resources and updates on the spread of the pandemic. Please print this out to share as a Huddle Sheet with your team.

 Today’s Updates

Sign-up to Donate Blood on Friday, 3/27

It's essential that we build up supplies for the demand we anticipate in the coming weeks. This is the first of what we hope will be several blood donation drives in partnership with Children's Hospital. We are asking you to help us ensure we can continue to meet the transfusion needs of our patients.

When: Friday, March 27th, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Location:  Denver Health Administration, 601 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203, Room 480.

Spots are limited, so please sign up here to donate blood this week. Please DO NOT sign up to donate blood if you have traveled in the past 28 days.

Remember to have something to eat and hydrate beforehand. The process takes about 30 to 45 minutes total, from arrival, paperwork, a brief interview to the actual blood draw. Your donation will make an incredible difference for our patients and families every day. Without blood, we would not be able to perform many lifesaving procedures

New Labor Pool Request Process

As we anticipate a surge in staffing needs, we are starting a new Labor Pool Request Process. We are prioritizing placements based on organizational needs.  Effective immediately, all staffing needs outside of normal operations will be requested by your leader through the labor pool. Leaders can make a staffing request for the following reasons:

1) There is a staffing vacancy outside of normal operations that can’t be filled within the department, OR 
2) There is an employee(s) who needs hours you can’t provide in your department. 

The Labor Pool will attempt to place employees in comparable positions and shifts, but this can’t be guaranteed. All employees are considered essential and may be needed in different positions and shifts. Regular clinical needs are handled through the appropriate float pool whenever possible.

 

Distribution

Staples has paused desktop delivery at Denver Health. Unfortunately, this means it will take longer to receive your office supplies as all deliveries are going to the dock.  It may take an extra day or two to receive your orders. We ask that you please be patient as we work through this new process.

Clinical Updates

Employee Testing FAQ

COVID-19 testing for employees began on Friday, March 20.  Attached are answers and guidance for frequently asked questions in regard to the employee testing process. If your question is not answered in this document, please submit it to covid-19@dhha.org.

HR Updates             

Short Term Disability Benefit

Benefit eligible employees (.5 FTE and above) are now eligible for Short Term Disability (STD) the first day of the month following their hire date. We are making this change retroactively to March 1, 2020. This means that all employees hired before March 1 are now eligible for Short Term Disability benefits, and employees hired on March 1, or after will be eligible on the first day of the month following their date of hire. Find more information on Short Term Disability on the Pulse.

Reminders

Employee ID Badges

Please make sure to wear your employee ID badge prominently at all times.

 

Social Media Policy

Our staff are the most valuable influencers of Denver Health.  Many of our family, friends and communities are reaching out to us for reassurance and information. Please remember that what you post on social media impacts your peers, patients and visitors. Posting any patient information or images on social media is a violation of HIPAA, PHI and Denver Health’s social media policy.

Media Guidelines

There have been a number of instances in recent weeks where reporters and news stations have contacted staff and providers directly for inquiries and story content without working through the Denver Health communications team in advance. ALL media interviews must be coordinated through the Denver Health Public Information Officers.

If you receive a request from a news outlet or reporter directly, please call the Denver Health Media Line at 303-520-9591 or email Rachel.Hirsch@dhha.org or April.ValdezVilla@dhha.org.

Resources
Denver Health Coronavirus Education

Helpful Links:

Please email COVID-19@dhha.org with any questions.

 

 

 

 

3/23/20 Huddlesheet: PPE, Clinical Updates, High Risk

We have heard from a number of you that you are concerned about contracting coronavirus at work and bringing it back to your families. We would like to share some reassuring information with you.

 

With the widespread community transmission occurring, it is likely that many of us will be exposed to coronavirus outside of work. Prior to widespread community transmission, studies were done of health care workers wearing suboptimal or no PPE who were exposed to patients with novel coronavirus infection. Results are discussed in articles in both the Lancet and from the New Yorker.

 

Key points in our infection prevention plan:

  • We adhere to national and international PPE guidelines. Our current PPE recommendations are in line with WHO and CDC guidance.
  • Extended use of PPE is authorized by the CDC. While extended use of PPE is not optimal, all hospitals are being forced to do this. Updated guidance for extended use of PPE is available on the subsite (see Infection Control section).
  • We are deploying PAPRs throughout the hospital. To further preserve PPE which are more limited (such as N-95 respirators), reusable Personal Air Purifying Respirators (PAPRs) are being deployed in areas where aerosol generating procedures are frequently performed.
  • We are investigating all sources for medical-grade PPE. Alternate vendors/supply chains are continuously being evaluated- after vetting we will utilize all supply chains possible.
  • PPE tutorials are available. Video links are also available for appropriate donning/doffing for re-use of PPE (Infection Control section).

 

How can I keep myself and my family safe?

  • Hand hygiene. Wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer multiple times per day, particularly after touching your mask or touching a patient.
  • Practice social distancing. Keep 6 feet away from your coworkers and from patients whenever possible.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth. If you do contact your face, please perform hand hygiene again.
  • Stay home if you are ill. If you have fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please fill out the COVID-19 Employee Survey to determine if you need coronavirus testing.

 

We truly appreciate all your hard work and dedication during these stressful times. The Infection Prevention team is dedicated to protecting both our patients and Denver Health employees. Infection Preventionists will be available on the hospital units to assist you with donning/doffing and answer any questions you may have.

 

Homemade PPE

We understand there has been some confusion regarding community offers for homemade masks. Studies show the homemade masks are less effective than surgical masks. We cannot standardize the material, the fit and a number of other factors so it’s really a false sense of security.

 

Clinical Updates

PPE

In the setting of suspected or confirmed coronavirus, the WHO and CDC recommend that health care workers wear a gown and gloves, surgical mask, and eye protection with escalation to an N95 mask or PAPR when an aerosol-generating procedure is being performed. Denver Health is following these recommendations. However, given our increasing number of inpatient cases and more solid personal protective equipment (PPE) reserves, we have made modifications to the recommended PPE in certain areas. Check with your manager or supervisor for details on updates to the PPE recommended for your role.

 

PHARMACY

In order to reduce exposure and spread of COVID-19, Denver Health outpatient pharmacy will now be offering delivery by mail for all patients. Offering the option to mail a patient their prescriptions will allow our patients to stay home and stay safe. The average time for prescriptions to arrive via delivery is 2-3 business days once shipped. If you or your patients have questions or would like to sign up for delivery, please contact any Denver Health pharmacy at 303-436-4488. If your patient needs a medication immediately, they can pick up their medications at any of our locations. Enrollment forms for delivery will be available at all pharmacy locations. We also encourage providers to write 90 day prescriptions when appropriate.  We want to thank you for working together to ensure our patients receive the best healthcare in a timely manner during this time of need. 

 

What You Need to Know

Mayor Michael B. Hancock issued a formal “Stay at Home” order today in effect from 5:00PM on Tuesday, March 24 through Friday, April 10.

  • Exemptions include hospitals, pharmacies, home health care workers, grocery stores, liquor stores, and construction operations among others.
  • If you are unclear on your current assignment or your work from home expectation, please contact your leader.
  • Governor Jared Polis issued the following statement in response: “Last week, San Miguel issued a stay at home order for non-critical functions and additional isolation measures were also taken in Gunnison, Eagle, and Summit counties. Today the city and county of Denver issued a similar order. I’m strongly in support of these local efforts, and it’s extremely important that just as our state is acting boldly and urgently, that our county health departments are also taking strong actions guided by science, data, and the real-life situation on the ground including taking into account local factors like population density and concentration of Coronavirus cases, to best contain the spread of the virus. Thank you to Mayor Hancock and other local leaders making strong moves to reduce the spread of the virus in communities across our state.”

 

Reminders

Phone Forwarding

Please make sure you are not forwarding your desk phone to a personal cell phone. This disrupts our ability to take Nurse Line, Ouch Line, RMPDS, CO HELP, and PBX calls. Take your phone off of call forwarding and leave instructions on your outgoing voicemail message on the best way for callers to reach you. If you need assistance, please call the help desk at 303-436-3777 or email helpdesksupport@dhha.org

 

Higher Risk Populations & Pregnancy

We recognize that certain groups of individuals are at increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 infection. These groups include those 70 years old and older and those with heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, or immunocompromising conditions. While COVID-19 is widespread in the community, healthcare settings do pose higher risks of transmission. We encourage you to work from home if your job allows you to do so. If your job does not allow you to work from home, we suggest that you request accommodation from LOAFMLprocess@dhha.org.

 

Pregnancy has NOT been shown to be a risk factor for severe COVID-19 infection. In addition, severe COVID-19 appears to be very rare in infants or young children. Most pregnant women will be able to continue to work in their designated role.

 

If you have concerns about this approach, or your job does not allow you to work from home, please fill out the COVID-19 Employee Survey.  Following the survey please contact your supervisor to discuss alternate accommodations or possible leave options (LOAFML@dhha.org)

 

Return to work criteria: symptoms are better and no fever while off antipyretics for 72 hours AND it has been at least 7 days since your symptoms began.

 

Resources


Denver Health Coronavirus Education

 

Helpful Links:

 

3/22/20 Denver Health Internet Capacity and Speed

Internet Capacity Increase

  • Last week we increased internet capacity at Denver Health.

  • The increase in capacity allows us to provide fast service for Telehealth, work from home users and the numerous other programs we support.  

If we have enough capacity, why is it taking so long to connect and run VPN?

  • Last week many cell phone and internet service providers (Comcast, Verizon, etc.) were overloaded with a higher number of users working from home. This slowed internet speeds down significantly.
  • When your VPN is slow you will need to take a two pronged approach.
  1. Let us know what your experiencing by placing ticket on the Pulse or by email at helpdesksupport@dhha.org.

  2. Please contact your internet service provider who can help you, but understand many of these services are also overloaded with a higher number of users working from home.

If you need to make (or take) calls from your work phone extension while you are working from home:

  • Use Jabber (an application that allows you to make calls over your computer either your own home computer or a DH device) for your calls. See How To Request Jabber below.
  • Please do NOT have calls forwarded from your work extension to your personal phone! You can use your personal phone to make calls and you can rerecord your work voice mail message to provide your personal phone number to callers or tell callers you are checking you phone four times a day, please leave their number and you will contact them within two to hours

How to Request Jabber

  1. Email helpdesksupport@dhha.org

  1. Request softphone setup on your PC/Laptop
  2. Include your work extension, name and cell phone number so we can contact you, if needed.

3/20/20 Changes to Short-term disability and PTO Leave Sharing Program

 

In order to assist employees who are experiencing an unexpected absence from work, we are changing the following policies immediately.

 

Short Term Disability Benefit

Benefit eligible employees (.5 FTE and above) are now eligible for Short Term Disability (STD) the first day of the month following their hire date. We are making this change retroactively to March 1, 2020. This means that all employees hired before March 1 are now eligible for Short Term Disability benefits, and employees hired on March 1, or after will be eligible on the first day of the month following their date of hire.

 

PTO Leave Sharing Program

All employees who experience a medical emergency for themselves, an immediate family member, or experience the death of an immediate family member are eligible for our PTO Leave Sharing Policy. This program allows employees to donate PTO to other employees in need. The receiving employee must be on an approved leave of absence, and have exhausted their own PTO, and are not receiving payment through the Short Term Disability policy, or Workers Compensation. As of today, all employees of Denver Health are eligible for this program regardless of the longevity of their employment or FTE status. Please see the revised policy (attached).

 


3/19/20 Staff Risk Survey

Employee COVID-19 Testing

We appreciate all that you do at Denver Health and we understand that you may have concerns about COVID-19. We have all heard that there is a national shortage of COVID-19 tests and that this shortage impacts hospitals across the United States, Colorado and here at Denver Health. In Denver, COVID-19 has become community spread and we simply cannot test everyone who displays symptoms of COVID-19.

As an additional measure to address your health concerns about COVID-19, we have created a COSH survey that can be used to assess individual situations and provides direction based on this assessment.

Click COVID-19 Employee Survey to begin.

We are encouraging anyone who believes they have been exposed to COVID-19 to conduct symptom checks (cough, fever or shortness of breath) twice a day, wash your hands frequently and practice social distancing.

Please, if you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever or shortness of breath), you should take the survey, notify your supervisor, stay at home in a separate area from family members and pets, drink plenty of fluids and call your PCP if your symptoms worsen.


3/18/20 Child Care

Leaders,

Please help inform your staff of this opportunity.

 

CHILD CARE for Health Care Workers

SIGN UP NOW

 

Recognizing the importance of your work to the health and safety of the State of Colorado, a child care option will be made available to all members of the health care community, beginning March 23. To register for this child care program, please visit

https://covidchildcarecolorado.com/demand-survey-home/

or dial 2-1-1 for additional questions. Every effort will be made to match those who need care with a licensed facility near you that has available capacity to help.

 

<>This child care program has been organized by a public private partnership between the Governor’s office, Colorado Department of Human Services, Gary Community Investments, and non-profit and for profit providers across the state -- all of whom want to offer their profound thanks to you and your family, for your service to our community. This service will be provided free of charge for the first two weeks. If the need for services extends beyond two weeks, sliding scale fees may be required depending upon the availability of resources. If you want to learn more about the program and how it operates there is a list of FAQ available here (

https://covidchildcarecolorado.com/

).

3/18/20 Message from the CEO

Colleagues – The last two weeks have been quite the challenge. Standing up all our preparations for the Covid-19 virus while going through our hospital Joint Commission visit was a test of Denver Health – one that we passed with flying colors! First of all, let me say thank you to the entire team for the incredible work you do every day. The quality of the care provided, the compassion of our staff towards incredibly vulnerable patients and the commitment to our mission were the things that the Joint Commission surveyors raved about. Congratulations for such a successful survey.

 

Our incident command center is working feverishly (no pun intended) to make sure we are ready for the challenge of Covid-19. While our number of positive cases remains small (5 outpatient, 0 inpatient and 40 community based cases being managed by our public health division), the fear and anxiety in our community is significant. We have been dealing with state and national shortages of tests and associated supplies, the need to use a lot of PPE due to a lack of test results and a rapidly changing situation. Our public health and infectious disease experts are providing guidance on how to make sure staff stays safe even in the face of these shortages, including a new protocol that will be pushed out today around prioritizing inpatients and health care workers for testing.

 

The incident command structure allows us to manage these issues and prepare for what is coming, which unfortunately is likely to be a major health crisis and test of our system. I ask that you bear with us as we work through all the critical issues. The normal organizational structure remains in place and should be used for any issues and questions that you have.

 

At the same time, we are prioritizing the health and well-being of our staff. A few key actions that we’ve taken:

 

1. Making sure that we provide appropriate PPE to staff caring for potentially exposed patients and working with the State government to get more supplies;

2. Adding additional salary protection for employees who exhibit symptoms, need to be sent home and subsequently test positive;

3. Advocating for child care services for our health care workers; you should have received a rave with an announcement of available child care for health care workers – please be sure to sign up if you need this support

 

I know there’s been a lot of communication in an effort to keep everyone informed. We’re working to streamline how, when and what we communicate, to balance important information with the need to keep our day to day work going and not overwhelm everyone. Please be assured that we will continue to make the best decisions we can to serve our patients and community and protect our workforce.

 

Thank you for everything you do.


 

3/17/20 Stop on Outpatient Testing

 

Given severe shortages in testing supplies, outpatient clinics will no longer have the ability to send Covid-19 tests. Please return your unused testing supplies to the main campus microbiology laboratory via courier as soon as possible. We must prioritize testing for our highest impact populations: (1) those being admitted to the hospital or currently hospitalized; and (2) healthcare workers including first responders as it impacts their ability to return to work promptly.

 

There will be a dedicated drive-up site available for symptomatic healthcare workers beginning soon. This process will be outlined in a subsequent email.


3/17/20 No Visitors Policy

Fidelity Appointments Now Online

Fidelity will conduct any scheduled and requested consultations via telephone or WebEx. If you have a scheduled appointment, your representative will reach out to you directly and provide details about your meeting.

Employees Without COVID-19 Symptoms May Return to Work

All employees who are currently in self-quarantine due to domestic or international travel, including cruises, should return to work with continued symptom monitoring for fever, cough or shortness of breath.

Updated Visitor Policy Effective at 5:00 PM March 17, 2020

NO Visitors Permitted; with Limited Exceptions

To protect our patients, families, employees, and the community during the outbreak of COVID-19, we have put measures into place that restrict visiting of family, friends and community until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat.

Denver Health is restricting all visitors at all Denver Health sites until further notice. One visitor will be permitted in the following situations:

  • Patient in Emergency Department,

  • Mother in labor,
  • Patients who are 21 years of age or under (legal guardian permitted),
  • Adult patients with cognitive, physical, or mental disability requiring help with the provision of medical care or activities of daily living, speaking for the patient, and keeping patient safe,
  • Patient undergoing surgery,
  • People who must exercise power of attorney or court-appointed guardianship for a patient,
  • Patient at end-of-life,
  • People performing official governmental functions.

Additional exception requests will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the care area leadership. 

If I am approved to visit, are there special rules that I must follow?

To help prevent the spread of infection:

  • You must remain in the patient’s room at all times, except for quick trips to the bathroom or to purchase food.
  • Limit the number of personal items that you bring into the hospital. Bringing fewer items into the hospital will reduce the number of unwanted germs that you take back home with you.
  • When visiting is over, you must leave the hospital and not wander through hallways or spend time in public areas, including lobbies, waiting areas, cafeterias and vending areas.
  • You must be screened for symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, cough or shortness of breath) prior to entering one of our hospitals and will be issued a wristband indicating that you have passed the health screening. You must visibly wear a wristband indicating that your health screen was negative. Anyone with a positive health screen will not be able to visit and directed to the proper resources if you are suspected of having COVID-19.
  • You MUST wash your hands or use hand sanitizer EVERY time you enter or exit a patient room. 

How can family and friends stay in touch with their loved one?

We recommend that you connect with your loved ones and their healthcare team through technology. Hospital phones are available in patient rooms. Your loved one may also use their personal phones, computers, and tablets to stay connected with you through audio and video chatting and texting.

Are children able to visit?

Children 15 and under should not come to Denver Health while we have COVID-19 visitation restrictions except for end-of-life and other extreme situations where their presence has been approved. If you are approved to visit a loved one, please make arrangements for all children to be cared for away from Denver Health. Any non-patient child that comes to Denver Health will be asked to leave with the adult who brought them.

May I still send flowers, food, or other items to my loved one?

To help limit the number of people in our buildings, we ask that people not send flowers, food or other items that must be delivered.

How can I be sure that my loved one will be safely cared for during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Employees wash or sanitize their hands each time they enter and exit a patient’s room. They also wear Personal Protection Equipment (gown, gloves, face shields, or goggles) when they enter the room of a patient with an infectious illness. Denver Health is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and screening protocols and following infection control prevention best practices. We are also remaining in close communication with state and county public health officials to monitor the spread of the virus.

Please know that all hospitals and health systems regularly prepare for disease outbreaks, conduct regular preparedness drills, and are able to adapt quickly to infectious disease outbreaks. We are always training our staff on how to protect patients and themselves as they care for patients.

What do I do if I believe that I may have COVID-19?

Denver Health has a nurse line (303) 739-1211, staffed by Denver Health nurses and staff seven days a week. The nurse line is a community resource for timely, accurate information about COVID-19 symptoms and virtual screening for people who are experiencing symptoms.

Call CO-HELP for other COVID-19 related questions. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, please call 911.

What can I do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect myself and others?

  • Stay home when you are sick (fever, cough or shortness of breath).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating, after coughing or sneezing, and after using the bathroom.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. The best way to cover your mouth and nose is to cough or sneeze into the elbow of your arm. Throw tissues away immediately and wash your hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

What if my loved one or I need health care for other illnesses or injury?

During this time, our patients still need care for health conditions unrelated to the virus, and Denver Health will continue to serve and care for the needs of all patients whether you are giving birth, needing treatment or surgery, or requiring lifesaving emergency procedures. We are committed to providing the critical health services we typically offer.

We appreciate your understanding as we update our policies to protect the safety of our patients, staff and visitors. We are confident that together we will continue to deliver the highest quality of care.


3/17/20 Extended Mask Use

Dear staff,

As the Covid-19 pandemic grows in our community, many of our staff will be unknowingly exposed to Covid-19. There is evidence that asymptomatic individuals can spread infection to vulnerable people. Our inpatients are vulnerable, and we must protect them from germs that our staff may carry.

Therefore, we recommend extended use of masks for all patient-facing employees in the inpatient, emergency department, and urgent care settings. In times of extreme PPE shortages, this strategy is endorsed by the CDC, FDA, and APIC. Non-patient facing employees in the main hospital do not require masks. Similarly, the personal protective equipment (PPE) recommendations for ambulatory care clinics and specialty clinics do not change.

Specifically, patient-facing employees (those who enter the room of patients on a regular basis) are expected to

1. Wear a mask continuously throughout the day. Employees shall obtain one mask at the beginning of their shift and wear it continuously throughout the day including in hallways and in break rooms. Most employees will don a surgical mask for the duration of their shift. Employees who care for patients who have frequent aerosol-generating procedures should don an N95 mask for the duration of their shift. It should only be removed for eating and drinking. Replace the mask with a new one if it becomes saturated, soiled, damaged, or contaminated with blood or body fluids. Be sparing with your PPE, particularly N95 masks; they are in scarce supply!

2. Wear a face shield (preferred) or eye protection over your mask when seeing patients with undifferentiated respiratory tract infections. The face shield or eye protection should be cleaned with a purple top or bleach wipe before and after each use, placed outside the room, and reused until it is damaged or contaminated with blood or body fluids.

As always, please do not come to work when you are ill.

Thank you for protecting the safety of our patients, especially in these difficult times.


3/16/20 Mountain Travelers Return to Work

Dear Denver Health staff members,

Yesterday we received a directive from CDPHE stating that anyone who has been in Eagle, Summit, Pitkin or Gunnison counties in the past week should minimize all contact with other people, whether or not they are experiencing symptoms. Given the impact this has on our essential healthcare workforce, we have reached out to CDPHE to discuss that impact. We discussed alternative measures to this recommendation and would also ensure our patient and staff safety.

As Denver Health has well defined protocols for employee exposures, CDPHE has advised us that we can follow those exposure protocols.

Therefore, effective immediately, staff who have been in Eagle, Summit, Pitkin or Gunnison counties since Monday 3/9 may return to work if they remain without symptoms. As transmission of COVID-19 is thought to be widespread in these counties, staff should perform twice daily self-monitoring for fever and respiratory symptoms for 14 days after their last exposure to these areas. If they become symptomatic, they should immediately be excluded from their duties.

Managers should contact their staff to notify them of their ability to return as long as they are without fever or symptoms.

In addition, for staff in critical areas managing our highest risk patients, we will be revising some of our PPE policies. A communication describing those changes is forthcoming. 


3/16/20 Remote Meetings

Conducting Meetings

Online meetings

If you need to conduct an online meeting, Denver Health has several options. The most frequently used options are conference lines, WebEx and Zoom. If you need assistance putting together an online meeting, contact the help desk at x63777.

In Person Meetings

We are not encouraging in person meetings to take place at this time. If you must have an in person meeting, please make sure everyone sits 6 feet apart.

RAVE Sign Up

Incident Command is sending urgent messages through RAVE, our messaging system. If you have not received any notifications on your phone over the past week, please sign up for RAVE alerts. Instructions are attached or you can find them here.

 

Patient Information

Denver Health Telehealth FAQ (English)

Denver Health Telehealth FAQ (Spanish)

Symptoms & Prevention Flyer (English and Spanish)

Visitor Restrictions Signage

Home Quarantine Instructions

Community Testing Center

Travel Information

Denver Health Patient Information Flyer (English)

Denver Health COVID-19 Patient Information Flyer Spanish (Español)

Denver Health COVID-19 Patient Information Flyer  Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt)

Denver Health COVID-19 Patient Information Flyer Chinese (中文)

Denver Health COVID-19 Patient Information Flyer Arabic ( عربى )

Denver Health COVID-19 Patient Information Flyer Amharic (አማርኛ)

Denver Health COVID-19 Patient Information Flyer (Français)

Denver Health COVID-19 Patient Information Flyer (Soomali)

Denver Health COVID-19 Patient Information Flyer (русский)

Denver Health Visitor Policy

Denver Health Nurseline Information (Many Languages)

Screening Process

Screening Process

ASK. Ask the patient about fever, cough, and shortness of breath; travel history; and recent contact with someone known to have COVID-19.

ISOLATE. Place a surgical mask on the patient and isolate patients immediately. Use a private room, and a negative pressure room if available. Separate the patient by six feet from others if a private room is unavailable.

ASSESS. Use Specialized Respiratory Isolation: contact precautions, droplet precautions, and eye protection for the evaluation of most patients with possible COVID-19. Patients who have aerosol-generating procedures should be escalated to airborne precautions.

Email COVID-19@dhha.org for further questions.

Controlled Access to Main Hospital

To protect our patients, families, employees, and the community during the outbreak of COVID-19, we have put measures into place that restrict visiting of family, friends and community until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat.

Denver Health is restricting all visitors at all Denver Health sites until further notice. One visitor will be permitted in the following situations:

  • Patient in Emergency Department,
  • Mother in labor,
  • Patients who are 21 years of age or under (legal guardian permitted),
  • Adult patients with cognitive, physical, or mental disability requiring help with the provision of medical care or activities of daily living, speaking for the patient, and keeping patient safe,
  • Patient undergoing surgery,
  • People who must exercise power of attorney or court-appointed guardianship for a patient,
  • Patient at end-of-life,
  • People performing official governmental functions.

To protect patients and staff, Denver Health has implemented an updated visitor restriction policy.

Signs & Symptoms

Signs & Symptoms from the CDC

Infection Control

Staff Tips - English

Staff Tips- Espanol 

No Visitors Policy

Donning & Doffing Poster

Removing Gloves Poster

Removing Gloves Video Tutorial 

Eye Protection Required Sign

Check in at Nurses Station Sign

Specialized Respiratory Isolation Sign

Controlled Air Purifying Respirator (CAPR) Instructions

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Infection Prevention Guidelines

Resources for Health Care Professions from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE)


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE Recommendations

Special respiratory isolation is

  • Contact precautions (gown and gloves)
  • Droplet precautions (surgical mask)
  • Eye protection (face mask or goggles)
  • Escalation airborne precautions (N95 mask or PAPR) if aerosol-generating procedure is performed

Rooming

Single-person room with the door closed for outpatients, including outpatients and those in the emergency department or urgent care settings

Airborne Infection Isolation Rooms (AIIRs) for all inpatients

Supply Shortage & Preservation

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is in short supply in the United States, and Denver Health is seeing the same shortages. In order to preserve our supplies, we recommend the following changes to our use of PPE, effective immediately:

Surgical Masks and N95

Patient-facing inpatient providers should wear a mask continuously throughout the day. Employees shall obtain one mask at the beginning of their shift and wear it continuously throughout the day including in hallways and in break rooms. Most employees will don a surgical mask for the duration of their shift. Employees who care for patients who have frequent aerosol-generating procedures should don an N95 mask for the duration of their shift. It should only be removed for eating and drinking. Replace the mask with a new one if it becomes saturated, soiled, damaged, or contaminated with blood or body fluids. Wash your hands well before and after touching your mask.

These recommendations do NOT apply to sterile environments (e.g. Operating Room). 

N95 Mask Collection

At this time, N95 masks are being collected, sterilized, and stored only for future use in the event of a critical mask shortage. Currently, only new N95 masks are being distributed, and our supply of new N95 masks is adequate. In the event that we must use reprocessed masks in the future, this will be disclosed to providers.

Eye Shields

Patient-facing inpatient providers should wear a face shield (preferred) or eye protection over the mask when seeing patients with undifferentiated respiratory tract infection. The face shield or eye protectoin should be cleaned with a purple top or bleach wipe before and after each use, placed outside the room, and reused until it is damaged or contamined with blood or body fluids. 

Gowns/Gloves

We no longer require contact precautions for MRSA in both outpatient and inpatient settings. As always, standard precautions should be followed. Contact precautions for other multidrug resistant organisms, including VRE, ESBL, CRE, and C. difficile, will continue unchanged. Gowns and gloves remain as single patient, single use items. 

Administrative

Requirements for Clinical Documents Related to COVID-19

Supplies & Equipment

For COVID-19 equipment and supply requests that are not part of normal day-to-day operations, send your requests to Selena Frederick with the Purchasing Department. She will coordinate using the COVID-19 AU to pay for new requirements related to COVID-19. This process ensures that we can capture Denver Health's COVID-19 costs

Human Resources

Staff Exposure & Illness Due to COVID-19

Do not come to work if you are sick or have symptoms.

It is vitally important that you do not come to work if you are experiencing symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath. Denver Health employees who believe they've been exposed to COVID-19 or who are experiencing novel coronavirus symptoms should take the new staff health survey. This replaces the OUCH Line process. If survey results indicate that your risk is high enough to warrant testing, a provider will contact you.  After completing the survey, notify your supervisor that you have symptoms. Stay at home in a separate area away from family members and pets, and drink plenty of fluids. Call your primary care provider if your symptoms get worse.

Returning to Work Criteria

To return to work, your symptoms must be better and no fever while off antipyretics for 72 hours, and at least seven days have passed since your symptoms began.

Social Distancing

Please maintain social distancing of at least six feet to minimize the risk of transmission. Whenever possible, we encourage staff to use phone, email, WebEx and other forms of non-face-to-face communication.

Higher Risk Populations

Certain groups of individuals are at increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 infection. These groups include those 70 years and older and those with heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, or immunocompromising conditions. While COVID-19 is widespread in the community, healthcare settings do pose higher risks of transmission.  We encourage you to work from home if your job allows you to do so.  If your job does not allow you to work from home, we suggest that you request accommodation from LOAFMLprocess@dhha.org.

Pregnancy Questions

Pregnancy has not been shown to be a risk factor for severe COVID-19 infection. In addition, severe cases appear to be very rare in infants and young children. Most pregnant women will be able to continue to work in their designated role. If you have concerns about this approach, or your job does not allow you to work from home, please fill out the Staff COVID-19 Health Survey here. After you take the survey, contact your supervisor to discuss alternate accommodations or possible leave options. Call Human Resources at 303-602-7007 or send an email to LOAFMLProcess@dhha.org. You can also find Family Medical Leave (FML) and ADA (American Disabilities Act) accommodation forms here.

Surge Staffing Needs

Anticipating a surge in staffing needs, it is critical that leaders follow the Labor Pool Process. The Labor Pool team is prioritizing placements based on organizational needs. Contact the Labor Pool if:

1) You have a staffing vacancy outside of your normal operations that you can't fill within your department

OR

2) You have employee(s) who needs hours that you can't provide in your department. Leaders must make the request to the Labor Pool and not the individual employee outside of their department.

Please note: If staffing decisions are made without sending the request through the Labor Pool, leaders will pay these hours through their own AU and not the Labor Pool AU.

Labor Pool Process

  1. The leader makes a request via the Labor Pool request form.
  2. The Labor Pool will reach out directly to the leader to verify the request.
  3. The Labor Pool will reach out directly to the employee to discuss placement.
  4. The Labor Pool will place the employee to fill the vacancy and send confirmation to the leader.

*If the Labor Pool team is actively working to fulfilling an existing request for you, it is not necessary to submit a new request form.

Placement Expectations

The Labor Pool will attempt to place employees in comparable positions and shifts, but this can't be guaranteed. All employees are considered essential and may be needed in different positions and shifts. Regular clinical needs are handled through the appropriate float pool whenever possible. 

Travel Guidelines

Business Travel

Denver Health is suspending all work-related international and domestic travel for employees. This includes any travel funded by a government grant, foundation, company or university.

Personal Travel

Every staff member at Denver Health is essential to providing the best patient care in Denver. Our patients and the community depend on our expertise for quality care. Please be mindful when making decisions about your personal travel, and avoid high risk areas. For more information on high risk areas and cruise travel, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.

Use of Technology

Turn Off Call Forwarding

Please take your desk phone off of call forwarding and leave instructions on your voicemail greeting for the best way for callers to reach you.  If you need assistance, call the help desk at 303-436-3777 or email helpdesksupport@dhha.org.

Remote Meetings

When possible, we are encouraging online and phone meetings as opposed to in-person meetings. Denver Health has several options for conducting remote meetings, including conference lines, WebEx and Zoom. If you need assistance, call the Help Desk at ext. 63777.

Urgent Text Alert Signup

The Incident Command Center is sending urgent messages through RAVE, our messaging system. If you have not been receiving emergency text message notifications on your cell phone, please sign up for RAVE alerts.

Stockpiling and Theft of Supplies

It is vital for everyone within the organization to take a leadership role and report stockpiling and theft to your supervisor. You can also report it by calling our Values Line at 1-800-273-8452. Failure to follow Denver Health's Code of Conduct could lead to disciplinary action.

Cancellation of Events & Programs

Job Shadowing – Human Resources is postponing our job shadowing program. As the situation around COVID-19 develops, HR will determine when the program can resume.

Bring Your Child to Work Day – The annual event where staff are invited to bring their children to work has been canceled.

Well-being Resources for Staff

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) + Work/Life Support – Call 1-866-799-2728 or visit HeathAdvocate.com/DenverHealth for financial, emotional and physical wellbeing resources.

Resilience in Stressful Events (RISE) – RISE offers 24/7 peer support for Denver Health personnel. Call 303-436-RISE (7473) or visit the RISE subsite on the Pulse.

Child Care

Free child care is available to all members of the health care community for two weeks starting on Monday, March 23. Click here to sign up for the program. If you have questions, dial 2-1-1. Every effort will be made to match those who need care with a licensed facility near you that has available capacity to help. The program is organized by a partnership between the Governor's office, Colorado Department of Human Services, Gary Community Investments and non-profit and for profit providers across the state. The service will be provided free of charge for the first two weeks. If the need for services extends longer, sliding scale fees could be required, depending on the availability of resources. To learn more about the program, read frequently asked questions and answers here.  

Housing Accommodations

Many local hotels are offering discounted room rates to Denver Health Employees during this crisis. Click here for a list of participating hotels, rates they're offering our employees, and instructions on how to book. Employees are responsible for booking their own rooms and paying all charges incurred.

 

Additional Resources

Coronavirus Outbreak Map

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Denver Public Health

John Hopkins University (JHU) Global Cases Map

World Health Organization (WHO)

 Journal Articles

Washington State Crisis Standards of Care

New York Ventilator Allocation Guidelines

National Academy of Medicine

Article: Planning Duties

New York Times

Article: Rationing Planning

Article: Patient Care Choices

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE)

CDPHE Facts

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

CDC Fact Sheets

 

Today's Huddle Sheet

4/2/20 Updates

Kindness is contagious

As a reminder, we are all stretched thin during these trying times and kindness is contagious! Please remember to practice kindness when working with your colleagues on the frontlines.

Infographic for COVID-19 Patient Facing Staff

Please see the informative infographic on how staff can minimize their risk to loved ones while working in the hospital. Please print and post these infographics in your units.

Supporting our staff

Thank you to the Volunteer Services team and the Denver Health Foundation for coordinating countless drop offs by community members who have donated to our staff during this time of need. Check out some photos on our facebook page for a smile!

Clinical Updates

COVID-19 Dashboard Data

Please review today’s five data points covering COVID-19 data in Epic in the attachment. We are working to get a dashboard accessible within epic for staff to view. For staff that do not use epic, we will continue to provide this information here in the huddle sheet.   

N95 Mask Reprocessing

PPE is a major priority to safeguard the health of staff. We do not have an imminent shortage of masks and gowns at this time, but we are looking at approved ways to safely re-process and re-use PPE. These decisions are being informed not only by our own infectious disease experts, but experts from the CDC, OSHA and other key agencies.

N95 Sterile Processing Information/Bins

  • Only N95 masks should be put in bins
  • Please do not write on N95 masks. Pens and markers may damage the protective barrier of the mask. Because of this risk these masks are being discarded.
  • Many N95 masks are being received with makeup visible on the inside – these are all being discarded rather than being reprocessed. Please consider refraining from wearing makeup if you will be wearing an N95 respirator during your shift.

Questions regarding reprocessing process

We have had a number of questions about the safety of reprocessing N95 masks. We are following an FDA-approved process to sterilize our used N95 masks. It is sufficient to eliminate harmful pathogens including the novel coronavirus, herpes simplex virus, and bacterial pathogens. For more technical information, please contact ICC_Safety_Med_Tech@dhha.org 

Protocol Updates

The following documents have been added to the pulse subsite under Infection Prevention and Stewardship:

 

IT Updates

 

WebEx is THE Video Conferencing Solution for Denver Health

  • Cisco WebEx is the number one enterprise communications platform and it is approved at Denver Health for all video conferencing, both internally and externally
    • WebEx is approved for communicating patient information (PHI)
    • Remember to ensure the screen is protected from unauthorized viewing
  • New tool coming soon: WebEx Teams
    • WebEx Teams offers tools including secure workspaces, messaging, file sharing, white boarding, and video meetings
    • WebEx Teams is fast tracked for a quick release
    • Have a critical need for WebEx Teams? submit a Service Request (here or the Help button on your computer desktop) and we will configure you as an early adopter
    • Educational material/support will be available when WebEx Teams is released across all of Denver Health

Zoom - Temporarily Approved - not Supported:

  • Zoom video conferencing has been temporarily approved for use, however Zoom will not be supported by Denver Health’s IT teams

  • If you are using Zoom, remember, it is YOUR responsibility to protect patient PHI with a strong password and to protect your screen from unauthorized viewing
  • Note: The Help Desk will not assist with Zoom questions or installation requests

 

 

 

HR Updates

HR Resources

Denver Health has resources available to employees dealing with financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. Attached is a list of resources, as well as some changes as a result of the CARES Act legislation that was passed by congress. It can also be found on the Pulse site.

 

Reminders

Employee Training

Annual Training for employees through Cornerstone has been pushed to August 9th, 2020

Childcare Assistance

In partnership with the Colorado Emergency Child Care Collaborative, the Y is offering free full-day child care exclusively for children of parents who are first responders, medical personnel or essential workers who need to support their families.

Denver YMCA

  • Parents must go through state process to obtain free child care.
  • If possible, parents should use their work email for the state's registration.
  • Parents need to request the preferred YMCA location (with address) during phase two of the state's registration process.

 

Resources

Denver Health Coronavirus Education:

 

Helpful Links:

 

Please email COVID-19@dhha.org with any questions.