- Important PPE Updates and Safety Reminders for Patient Care Areas
- Caregivers Create App That Supports Respiratory Therapists’ Roles During Pandemic
- Daily CEO Update | Our New Cloth Mask Initiative
- All Caregivers Now Required to Wear Cloth Masks in Every Location
- Updates to Routine and Rapid COVID-19 Testing to Take Effect
- More Opportunities to Donate Blood
- Access Support Services for Physicians During COVID-19
- Ohio Caregivers Update on Municipal Income Tax Withholding
- How Akron General is Caring for Patients During This Pandemic
Important PPE Updates and Safety Reminders for Patient Care Areas
We have revised our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) recommendations to best protect our caregivers, patients and visitors while also preserving our PPE for potential future needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Individual flyers with revised PPE recommendations are available for the following:
- Caregivers performing patient care in inpatient and ambulatory settings
- Caregivers in operating rooms and procedural areas
- COVID-19 positive cohort units (i.e. units with only patients who are confirmed to have COVID-19)
- Non-clinical caregivers (e.g. patient service representatives, patient transporters, environmental services, etc.)
- Masking recommendations for visitors, patients and caregivers
Note: Fabric and cloth masks are not considered PPE.
Refer to the “non-clinical caregivers” flyer and the “patients and visitors” flyer to understand which PPE is recommended for caregivers and patients when patients who have or are suspected to have COVID-19 are transported to and from their room.
Prior to transferring or transporting patients to a different unit, department or hospital, remember to include the patient’s COVID-19 status (e.g. positive, negative or Person Under Investigation) during the hand-off communication between other care team members. This helps other caregivers best prepare for the patient’s care and protect themselves by donning appropriate PPE.
How can I find our PPE recommendations in the COVID-19 toolkit?
- Visit the COVID-19 toolkit on the intranet OR the COVID-19 toolkit on the external COVID-19 site for caregivers at clevelandclinic.org/covid19.
- Click on the “PPE Recommendations for COVID-19” tab.
You may also access the PPE recommendations flyers via the hyperlink under the “PPE Resources” section on the intranet homepage.
Note: Most COVID-19 toolkit content is duplicated on the clevelandclinic.org/covid19 site so caregivers at all locations, on any network, may access the available resources.
Thank you for ensuring patient and caregiver safety as we encounter challenging situations during this pandemic.
Caregivers Create App That Supports Respiratory Therapists’ Roles During Pandemic
Our caregivers led efforts to design a mobile app to help caregivers understand how to use different types of ventilators. When Jay Alberts (Neurological Institute, Lerner Research Institute), David Schindler (Lerner Research Institute), Robert Chatburn (Respiratory Therapy) and Eduardo Mireles-Cabodevila, MD (ICU) created the app, they didn’t know it would soon be used to assist respiratory therapists and physicians who care for patients with COVID-19.
The app, Ventilator Mode Map app, provides respiratory therapists and doctors real-time information about the model of ventilator they are using. During this pandemic, caregivers may be using ventilators they haven’t used before.
“The app is like a drug formulary, helping users to distinguish between trade names for ventilator modes and their generic classifications in order to understand which are the same and which are different,” Alberts says. “By entering information in this app, the caregiver can quickly understand how to operate that specific ventilator.”
The app rolled out at main campus and is available on iTunes.
“This app is a valuable resource that can help us confidently and safely care for our patients to provide them with the best care possible,” Chatburn says.
Daily CEO Update | Our New Cloth Mask Initiative
We continue to protect our patients and caregivers while fulfilling our mission. This is our goal, and it will not change.
In our ongoing effort to preserve safety, all caregivers will now wear cloth masks in areas where personal protective equipment (PPE) is not required. This applies to all Cleveland Clinic locations and both clinical and nonclinical areas. Learn more about this initiative.
Cloth masks are not PPE. They enhance cough etiquette and may prevent the user from touching his or her face. When worn properly, a cloth mask also helps people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. That is in addition to social distancing and handwashing.
Our new requirement follows guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The Joint Commission, as well as direction from our state and local governments. Thank you very much for your compliance and support.
Our teams are unified and innovative. I visited Cleveland Clinic Akron General to learn how we are caring for patients with COVID-19 and the community in Summit County. Watch today’s video.
We have shown Cleveland Clinic locations are a safe place for patients and caregivers. We expect the State of Ohio to release guidance soon for the resumption of clinical activities.
Patients are eager for other nonessential services and treatment. While we use clinical judgment to prioritize patients who are suffering, our communities have a growing unmet need for care.
People also seek reliable information from trusted sources. Cleveland Clinic is one of very few healthcare organizations granted access to Google Question Hub. It is a tool that shows us unanswered questions about COVID-19 that people are searching.
Because our online health content is credible, we are able to quickly serve up content to match search results. This gives the general public easy access to our clinicians’ expertise.
Our new Hero Huddles shine a light on our team of teams. Recently, we recognized the efforts of our Information Technology caregivers.
When more caregivers needed to work from home, IT increased our capacity from 5,000 users to 25,000 in a matter of days. As we transformed the Health Education Campus into the Hope Hospital, our IT caregivers designed the necessary technology infrastructure to ensure care delivery.
Their teamwork and innovation is critical to our success. Thank you to all caregivers for your hard work and dedication to our mission.
Tom Mihaljevic, MD
CEO and President
All Caregivers Now Required to Wear Cloth Masks in Every Location
It is important to continue protecting ourselves and others as asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission of COVID-19 continues to impact our communities.
To enhance our ability to keep patients and fellow caregivers safe, caregivers at all locations will be required to wear cloth masks in areas where Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is not required.
Effective April 24, areas where cloth masking will be required include non-clinical and clinical areas, with or without patients and visitors, at all locations. This requirement follows guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The Joint Commission, as well as direction from our state and local governments. Refer to our Standard Precautions Policy for detailed updates.
Washable cloth masks will continue to be available at main entrances in our facilities for caregivers who have not yet received their Cleveland Clinic-issued mask, or for those who return a damaged Cleveland Clinic-issued mask. You may also wear a mask from home. Disposable cloth masks will continue to be offered to patients and visitors as they enter our facilities.
5 things you should know about cloth masks
- Cloth masks enhance cough etiquette and may prevent the user from touching their face. Here’s why and how you should wear a cloth mask.
- When worn properly while practicing social distancing and hand washing, cloth masks decrease the possibility that anyone who is unaware of being infected with COVID-19 will expose others.
- Cloth masks do not replace social distancing and proper hand washing in our efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Cloth masks are not considered PPE. Masks considered to be PPE include surgical masks with ear loops or ties and N95 respirator masks. If you are a caregiver who wears PPE to care for patients, replace your cloth mask with appropriate PPE as necessary, in accordance with our recommendations. Follow these donning and doffing tips when wearing your cloth mask.
- Cloth masks must be laundered at home after each shift, prior to your next shift. Follow the cleaning tips on this flyer.
We’re all in this together — speak up
We appreciate your efforts to support one another while also protecting yourself. Please speak up to your manager if you encounter another caregiver who does not follow our cloth mask guidelines. When every caregiver wears a cloth mask, we all protect each other. Thank you for all you do to help us keep our patients and each other safe.
Updates to Routine and Rapid COVID-19 Testing to Take Effect
Updated May 1, 2020, at noon.
The following changes are underway for routine and rapid COVID-19 testing.
Changes to routine testing
On April 27, routine COVID-19 testing capabilities will become available for all outpatient essential pre-operative surgical and procedural evaluations.
Please note: For surgeries and procedures being performed prior to May 4, testing is NOT required prior to surgery; testing is performed at the clinician’s discretion.
Clinicians pursuing COVID-19 testing should call the patient and do the following:
- Assess the patient for COVID-19-related symptoms prior to scheduling for preoperative testing. Symptomatic patients should be encouraged to seek care via their primary care provider or Express Care Online.
- Ensure that the patient understands the need for COVID-19 testing before they undergo pre-operative testing. The patient should plan to come in for COVID-19 testing one to two days before coming for preoperative testing. (Patients are required to get a COVID-19 test at least 72 hours before their outpatient surgery.)
- Explain that the Hotline scheduling group will call the patient to schedule their COVID-19 test.
Ambulatory preoperative COVID-19 testing panel
Additionally, on April 27, the ambulatory preoperative COVID-19 testing panel will go live.
This order will replace the current .covidelectsurg dot phrase and in-basket Epic message process, therefore removing the need for the COVID Hotline to enter orders on the providers’ behalf. (Please note: the .covidelectsurg dot phrase will be retired on May 8, 2020.) The scheduling process will remain the same at this time.
This order should solely be used in preoperative/pre-procedural testing situations.
It should not be used for non-preoperative outpatient or virtual visits. Utilization of this order will be audited and shared with Institute and hospital leadership.
Changes to rapid COVID-19 testing
Rapid COVID-19 tests are available for all patients in the emergency department (ED) who are admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), (whether symptomatic or asymptomatic) as of April 21.
On April 25, rapid COVID-19 testing will become available for all Labor and Delivery patients, (whether symptomatic and asymptomatic) with the exception of patients scheduled for C-section or labor induction (these patients will utilize the outpatient preoperative process).
More Opportunities to Donate Blood
Thank you to the hundreds of caregivers who have donated blood during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each donor makes a difference!
To avoid experiencing a blood shortage, it is critical that the American Red Cross continues to receive blood donations. Upcoming drives include:
Dates: April 29, May 13 and 27
Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Main campus, first floor atrium of the LL Building (the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Institute building on main campus at East 105th St., and Carnegie Avenue)
Dates: May 14 and 28
Cleveland Clinic is also sponsoring upcoming blood drives at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. To sign up, click here and filter by Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse locations.
Do you want to give blood, but need to find another date?
How to schedule an appointment to give blood
To give blood for any of our blood drives, schedule an appointment:
- Visit Red Cross donation website
- Search by sponsor code: CCF
- Search by zip code (LL building zip code: 44106)
- Find the drive by date
- Schedule a time that works for you
COVID-19 safety precautions
While there is no evidence that this coronavirus or any respiratory illness can be transmitted through a blood transfusion, the Red Cross is taking extra precautions to help ensure the safety of donors, recipients, volunteers, staff and the blood supply.
Access Support Services for Physicians During COVID-19
Our fight with COVID-19 is happening on many levels, as we serve our patients and community.
If you are coping with heightened uncertainty and stress at times, know that we want to take care of you too.
Below, find resources to foster your health and wellbeing and to support the unique needs of our staff and their families.
Family care and housing options
- Regular Backup Care program is always available (15 days/annually for each staff member)
- Arrange for temporary in-home care
- Utilize a childcare center operating only for children of healthcare providers
- Search online databases for sitters, tutors, helpers
- Find family care resources (and more), where you can gather and share resources with other Cleveland Clinic caregivers. Questions? Contact email@example.com
- Download PDF with staff-specific resources
- Housing program for well caregivers providing direct patient care
- Accommodates caregivers across Northeast Ohio and Florida, housing sites are organized into the following regions — Main Campus, East, West, South and Florida
Well-being and health
- Designed to foster relaxation and productivity in your work and personal life
- Find quick mindfulness tips and meditations
- Explore guided exercises, videos, and more to foster health and happiness
- Physicians may register for a free subscription through 2020
- Post and find information to help you engage in healthy behaviors
- These simple, short-burst experiences can fit into a busy day
Whether you need a little, or a lot, of support right now, Cleveland Clinic has a variety of resources for you and your family:
- Access 24/7 telephone support for professional staff; if you need to debrief your day on the way home from work, or are experiencing anxiety or distress. Call Caring for Caregivers at 216.445.6970 or 800.989.8820.
- Family members can also call (same phone numbers as above).
OPSA Navigator Program
- Peer support offered to COVID-positive members of the professional and staff and their families
- Trained physicians share their knowledge about available resources, make daily calls and provide around-the-clock support
- Questions? Contact Abby Abelson, MD or Katherine Bulava
Coaching for staff
- Build relationships and community with other staff members
- If you are interested, email StaffCoachingMentoring@ccf.org.
- 30-minute one-on-one executive coaching sessions
- Designed to help support you in these times of uncertainty and anxiety in which extreme levels of performance are being demanded
- Sign up for free from now to June 30
Find more staff support resources:
Ohio Caregivers Update on Municipal Income Tax Withholding
During our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and Ohio’s stay-at-home order, we recognize many caregivers are now working at a different enterprise location or from their home. As a result, you may have questions around how this will affect local taxes withheld from your pay.
Your local tax withholding will not change at this time. The State of Ohio recently passed legislation requiring employers to continue to withhold local taxes based on the employee’s regular place of work. This is your work location prior to any pandemic-related change of location.
This new rule is effective during the statewide emergency period and for 30 days after the conclusion of that period. Cleveland Clinic is following this rule and will continue to monitor any future guidance that may be set forth by the State of Ohio.
If you have questions about your withholdings, call the ONE HR Service Center at 216.448.2247.
How Akron General is Caring for Patients During This Pandemic
As a health system, we continue to share best practices between our locations.
I recently visited Akron General, one of five Cleveland Clinic hospitals in Ohio caring for patients with COVID-19. The team is doing an exemplary job serving patients and the community. Watch the video above.
Caregivers everywhere are showing teamwork, innovation and compassion. You are making a difference every day and it shows.
Thank you for everything that you do.
Tom Mihaljevic, MD
CEO and President