Daily CEO Update | Our New Exception to the Visitor Policy

Daily CEO Update | Our New Exception to the Visitor Policy

Fellow Caregivers,

We do not overlook the emotional toll this pandemic has on patients and their families. Patients are within our care during the most vulnerable moments of their lives. You are doing a wonderful job treating patients like family so that they do not feel alone.

We are introducing a compassionate exception for inpatient visitation. It applies to patients who are undergoing surgery that requires an overnight stay. The exception permits a single in-person visit on the day of surgery and one day afterward.

All patients are receiving safe and high quality care. We continue to measure serious safety events and outcomes. We are proud to share that safety event reporting is up, while the rate of serious safety events has gone down.

Becoming the safest place for care is a journey that never ends. It will always be Cleveland Clinic’s top priority.

Our locations are also safe environments. We are doing everything to protect patients and caregivers. I share a reassuring message in a new local campaign that will air soon. Watch the video.

Lawrence Bach, a patient at Akron General, was courageous in sharing his story. Bach was hesitant to seek care because of fear of the pandemic, even when he did not feel well. But he listened to his body and called us. We found he suffered a mild stroke and prevented worsening symptoms.

People are curious about our caregivers who traveled to help in New York and Michigan. I spoke to them yesterday with Kelly Hancock, Executive Chief Nursing Officer. The team had positive news to report. I look forward to sharing this conversation with you in a special video next week.

Understandably, caregivers are using less time off during the pandemic as stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions became part of our lives. However, we must be responsible stewards of our resources. We are requiring caregivers to use a portion of PTO by the end of July.

While we have no plans to reduce caregiver pay or positions, we need to manage other expenses. Unused PTO is an incremental cost to our organization as we navigate the financial complexities of COVID-19.

I know this may be disappointing news. Thank you for your understanding and flexibility as we all get through the pandemic together.

I leave you today with a good news story about one of our Euclid Hospital nurses. WKYC Channel 3 reached out to recognize Isaiah Rivers, a first-year RN, during Nurses Week.

Rivers is a big basketball fan and misses attending Cleveland Cavaliers games. The news channel reached out to the Cavs, and team legend Austin Carr shared a heart-warming message to recognize Isaiah. Watch the story.

Thank you for your dedication.

Tom Mihaljevic, MD
CEO and President

New Initiative Ensures You Take Needed Paid Time Off PTO

New Initiative Ensures You Take Needed Paid Time Off PTO

Thank you for your hard work and dedication during our COVID-19 response. Because of you, we are taking excellent care of patients and our communities.

Your own self-care is just as important. It’s why we have paid time off (PTO) — to ensure caregivers can rest, recharge and handle their personal responsibilities. This is even more important during a pandemic.

Yet when we reviewed PTO use year to date, we found caregivers are taking less time off than normal. Unused PTO is also an incremental cost to the organization.

What we’re doing about it

We want to ensure fair and equitable opportunities for caregivers to use PTO while being good stewards of our resources. Managers will soon instruct caregivers to use a portion of their PTO by July 31, 2020.

  • Full-time caregivers: This amount is 88 hours of PTO.
  • Part-time caregivers: This amount will vary as it is pro-rated based on your full-time equivalency.
  • If you have taken PTO this year, that amount will be credited toward this required total.
  • Three holidays (New Year’s Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day) also count toward this total when you take that time off.
  • If caregivers experience a lack of work, they will need to start using PTO in lieu of REGLOW until they have exhausted 88 hours of PTO. Read these FAQs for more details.

How does it work?

HR is providing your manager the number of PTO hours you have already used through April, and the number of hours you still need to use by July 31. If you have taken PTO within the past couple weeks, you may need to work with your manager to reconcile this amount based on when this data was pulled.

Certain departments have clinical demands. Managers of hourly clinical workers may advise their teams on alternative PTO use requirements.

As usual, all PTO requests must be approved by your manager.

Why are we requiring the use of PTO?

  1. Caregivers are using less PTO than normal. Your self-care is a priority and we want to ensure fair opportunities to use time off.
  2. We’re unsure what the second half of 2020 will look like. We expect it to be busier as more patients seek our services. Therefore, we may need to manage PTO more closely to ensure safe levels of staffing.
  3. PTO is a resource that we must steward. This pandemic has greatly impacted hospitals around the country. We have no current plans to reduce caregiver pay or positions of caregivers. However, PTO is a benefit, and like all benefits it is an expense we need to manage responsibly. The growth in unused PTO is an incremental cost to the organization.

We will continue to monitor PTO and reevaluate usage patterns at the end of July 2020.

Refer to these FAQs for more information. Please talk to your manager or HR Business Partner for additional guidance.

Thank you for your flexibility as we navigate this complex pandemic together as a team.

Cleveland Clinic K-12 Education Extends Schedule of Free Web-Based Learning Sessions

Cleveland Clinic K-12 Education Extends Schedule of Free Web-Based Learning Sessions

With the continued need for online learning and Cleveland Clinic’s continued commitment to provide our community with accurate COVID-19 information, we have extended our spring schedule of free web-based programs. By attending our May connected learning offerings, students and families will have the unique opportunity to engage with Cleveland Clinic caregivers on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional Compassionate Exceptions for Inpatient Visitation in Ohio Starting May 11

Additional Compassionate Exceptions for Inpatient Visitation in Ohio Starting May 11

To help ensure the safety of our caregivers, patients and families amid the spread of COVID-19, we will continue to restrict all visitors at all Ohio locations at this time.

Starting Monday, May 11, our compassionate exceptions to inpatient visitation guidelines in Ohio will include:

  • Patients undergoing surgery that requires an overnight stay: Permitted a single in-person visit* on the day of surgery and a single in-person visit on the day after surgery

*Note: A single in-person visit is defined as a single designated visitor in the room visiting a given patient. The designated visitor leaving the room signifies the end of the visit.

Visitation exceptions do not apply to outpatient surgery patients at this time.

Review the additional exceptions to Ohio’s inpatient visitation guidelines, in addition to outpatient visitation exceptions, on this flyer. (Find it under the “Additional Resources” tab in the COVID-19 toolkit.)

Remember these exceptions are not mandated and can be followed when social distancing is possible in your areas.

While these updates serve as guidance for visitation, we also trust that teams will work together to make the best decisions possible for the patient and caregivers when exceptions need to be made.

Visitor precautions

We will temperature screen all visitors prior to entering our facilities, as well as ask them to respect social distancing and practice hand hygiene.

All visitors are strongly encouraged to wear masks at all times while inside our facilities. Permitted visitors may bring their own mask from home, or masks will be provided to them upon entering our facilities. Visitors to patients with COVID-19 must wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Determining how to best keep our caregivers and patients safe during the pandemic is an ongoing process. Thank you for your support in educating visitors to follow our visitation guidelines despite the difficult situations your patients and their families may be facing. Whenever possible, continue to assist patients with virtual visits with their loved ones. Find guidance here.

Please contact the Ombudsman office at 216.444.2544 for further support or concerns.

Check the intranet for updates, as we will continue to evaluate the effects of our visitation guidelines and make adjustments accordingly.

Cavs Legend Austin Carr Surprises Euclid Hospital Nurse

Cavs Legend Austin Carr Surprises Euclid Hospital Nurse

Working as a first year RN in the Emergency Department, Isaiah Rivers, like others, had no idea of the pandemic we were about to experience.

Rivers is giving his all for our patients, including those ill with COVID-19.

The Euclid Hospital nurse was recognized by WKYC Channel 3 during Nurses Week for his empathic, patient-centered care. Channel 3 wanted to surprise Rivers with something special to show appreciation.

Knowing Rivers has missed attending Cleveland Cavaliers basketball games, Channel 3 reached out to the team. Cavs legend and commentator Austin Carr created a video for Rivers.

“I feel so appreciated,” says Rivers. “I’ve been a huge Cavs fan my whole life and was shocked when Austin said he wanted to meet me!”

Rivers recently graduated from Kent State and curently attends Ohio University to receive his Bachelors of Science in Nursing.

“Being a nurse during this pandemic has really made me appreciate the teamwork that is required to manage these kinds of stressful, evolving situations,” says Rivers. “I feel grateful that we are able to help our community and their families when they need us most.”

Caregivers Make Time to Provide Compassionate Care

Caregivers Make Time to Provide Compassionate Care

Our caregivers continue to express the deepest concern and brightest hope for our patients, despite the new challenges we’ve encountered in recent months. This level of dedication not only enhances the patient experience, but also ensures safe, high quality patient care.

We’d like to recognize the following caregivers who went above and beyond to serve patients:

Melanie Butara, RN, a nurse in 3 Seidman at Hillcrest Hospital, coordinated a birthday party for the daughter of an Oncology patient through the window of the hospital’s atrium. Butara got permission for the patient to leave her room and transported her to the atrium, where Butara ensured the patient could see her daughter through the window. They stayed in the atrium while the patient watched her daughter open her gifts — and while she sang “Happy Birthday” over the phone.

Katie Kyre, RN, BSN, a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Avon Hospital, stayed with a patient who was having difficulty breathing and approaching his last breaths. Kyre held his hand as she continued to suction secretions and reassured him she would not leave his side. When the patient’s wife arrived, Kyre placed the patient’s hand into his wife’s hand as he passed away.

Mary Meden, RN, a nurse in Cardiac Rehabilitation at Euclid Hospital, received a transferred call from the operator by accident. The patient on the line was expressing suicidal thoughts. Meden quickly realized the severity of the call and stayed on the line with the patient for more than an hour, until EMS arrived. She not only made time to stay on the phone with the patient, but also offered him words of encouragement and self-value that ultimately kept him from harming himself. EMS safely transferred the patient to Euclid Hospital.

Claudia Tancrell, RN, a nurse in Medical/Surgery Telemetry at Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Tradition Hospital, left her designated unit on the fourth floor to translate for a patient on the third floor. The patient, who spoke Portuguese and had difficulty understanding the language line interpreter, was so appreciative to have someone who was able to speak with him in his own language. Tancrell held hands with the patient as they communicated in Portuguese, and afterward, the patient kept repeating, “Thank you and God bless you!” Tancrell provided a sense of familiarity during this difficult time, when patients feel more isolated because visitation is restricted.

The caregivers above were recognized in Hero Huddles during our tiered daily huddles — one way we recognize and support caregivers and patients. In the comments below, tell us about an inspiring colleague or share one of your own encouraging experiences.

Update COVID-19 abbreviated surgical workflow and testing requirement

Update COVID-19 abbreviated surgical workflow and testing requirement

Updated May 8, 2020 - 8 a.m.

The safety of our patients and caregivers remains our top priority during this next phase of COVID-19 response. Effective May 4, testing for COVID-19 is required for all patients within three days (72 hours) prior to any surgery or procedure performed in an operating room or ambulatory surgery center.

The latest documents and resources are available in the Reactivation Toolkit including the latest Surgical Services Workflow and Frequently Asked Questions.

Steps for new surgical workflow:

  1. Confirm that the patient is willing to schedule their surgery
  2. Select the date and schedule
  3. Schedule COVID-19 testing, 2-3 days (72 hours) before the date of the scheduled surgery
  4. If not already completed, continue with pre-operative testing while awaiting COVID-19 test results
  5. If the results are negative, confirm negative COVID-19 results and proceed with the scheduled surgery
  6. If the results are positive, follow the Covid-19 Pre-Operative Surgery Decision Tree on page 7 for positive or unknown COVID-19 results

Questions? Contact Surgical Operations at SurgicalOperations@ccf.org.