Daily CEO Update
Thank you for your ongoing commitment in our efforts to contain COVID-19. Cleveland Clinic will always do the right thing for patients, caregivers and the communities we serve.
Last week, following guidance from the state of Ohio, Cleveland Clinic postponed nonessential surgeries and procedures. As a result of this reduction in patients served, effective Tuesday, March 24, Cleveland Clinic is suspending surgical services at several ambulatory surgery centers in Ohio. We are also reducing operating room teams at seven regional hospitals.
We are asking caregivers to participate in other areas where the needs are greatest through a labor pool. Thank you for being flexible and supporting each other as a team.
In Florida, we suspended elective surgeries in alignment with the governor’s order. We also opened the first COVID-19 phone triage and drive-through testing locations in Broward, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties. Through Sunday, we screened more than 6,000 individuals and performed nearly 800 tests at those locations.
Clinicians in Cleveland Clinic Community Care performed more than 7,600 virtual visits last week. These same teams also performed nearly 6,000 phone calls as documented visits. This is exceptional teamwork as we limit the number of in-person appointments.
On Sunday, the Ohio Governor’s office issued a stay-at-home order for most of the state’s residents. There are exceptions for healthcare workers and services in healthcare facilities. We will share more details on remote work for caregivers who are not in patient-facing roles.
The U.S. Department of State issued a Global Health Advisory instructing citizens to avoid all international travel. We have made contact with each caregiver who is abroad to assure their safety and give them the option to stay in place or return to the United States.
Our predictive models for COVID-19 currently project patients to peak around mid-May. These models are based on the best available information and are subject to change. We use them only to predict and plan for a surge of patients in the effort to ensure the safest care.
We must continue to encourage social distancing in our communities. This practice will further delay the date that we can expect a surge of ill patients and also reduce the total number of patients.
We continue to educate the community about COVID-19. Our digital content on clevelandclinic.org has now surpassed two millions views. In addition, we are posting our internal communications to the same website for caregivers to read important updates from home or during off hours.
Caregivers are supporting the pandemic in many ways. Our blood drive on Friday reached capacity with 70 caregiver donors. More blood drives are coming soon through our partnership with the American Red Cross.
Our Caring for Caregivers program has expanded employee assistance during the pandemic with . They allow caregivers to share experiences, review resilience skills and explore support systems.
I am so proud of your hard work and compassionate caregiving. It provides comfort to others in uncertain times. With the virus in our communities, we know that you and your families may be personally impacted. We are committed to supporting you and your loved ones during this difficult time.
Thank you for everything that you are doing in service to our patients, fellow caregivers and communities.
Tom Mihaljevic, MD
CEO and President
Update on COVID-19 Testing
Update: Effective March 22, 2020, COVID-19 testing hours at W.O. Walker Building have changed to 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Following overwhelming demand for testing we have made the decision to reserve COVID-19 testing for patients who are at the highest risk. We currently have a supply of testing swabs on hand, however, we did not fully anticipate the impact of the crisis in Italy, which is where the swabs are manufactured. We hope to continue to receive additional supplies, which will be a key part of our decision-making.
Patients will be tested, by appointment only from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week at the W.O. Walker testing facility located at 10524 Euclid Ave. in Cleveland.
We are prioritizing high risk patients, which includes those who are currently hospitalized and those who are age 61 and older. These patients need to meet with a provider, either virtually or in person, and see if they meet testing criteria and are symptomatic. If they meet criteria, then they will be called and given a date and time for a testing appointment.
For patients 60 and under who already have a Cleveland Clinic physician’s order, we are re-evaluating our ability to provide COVID-19 testing and are asking they not report to the W.O. Walker testing facility until they are contacted by Cleveland Clinic with further instructions.
In addition to changes related to testing, patients with a Cleveland Clinic physician’s order will no longer be tested at the Landerbrook location.
We are adapting to this unprecedented and rapidly evolving situation as quickly as possible while continuing to stay true to our mission of caring for our community.
Talk Through Feelings and Get Support in 30-Minute “Boost” Caring for Caregivers Call
As a Cleveland Clinic caregiver, you work diligently to provide care to our patients when they need it most. Now more than ever, it is important that you also take care of yourself.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Caring for Caregivers is offering 30-minute Boost telephone appointments to talk through feelings and provide support. Modeled after evidence-based critical incident response practices, these semi- structured phone calls are designed to give you a little “boost” with opportunity to:
- Share experiences of and reactions to your work during COVID-19
- Review current resilience skills and support systems
- Explore additional means of resilience and support
Boost telephone appointments are not counseling and are not intended as a substitute for counseling. If additional services are indicated beyond your initial Boost telephone appointment, appropriate recommendations and referrals will be made. As with other Caring for Caregiver services, your Boost conversation will not be part of your medical record.
To schedule your free, confidential Boost telephone appointment, call Caring for Caregivers at 1.800.989.8820 or 216.445.6970.
Update on Our Labor Pool and Suspending Surgical Services
In the effort to protect healthcare workers and prepare for a potential statewide surge of patients with COVID-19, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine last week announced the postponement of nonessential surgeries and procedures.
As a result of this reduction in patients served, effective Tuesday, March 24, Cleveland Clinic is suspending surgical services at the following ambulatory surgery centers in Ohio:
- Beachwood Surgery Center (26900 Cedar Rd, Beachwood)
- Fairview Ambulatory Surgery Center (850 Columbia Rd, Westlake)
- Lorain Surgery Center (5700 Cooper Foster Park Rd, Lorain)
- Marymount Sports Ambulatory Surgery Center (5555 Transportation Blvd, Garfield Heights)
- Park West Surgery Center (1 Park West Boulevard, Akron)
- Strongsville Surgery Center (16761 South Park Center, Strongsville)
- Twinsburg Surgery Center (8701 Darrow Rd, Twinsburg)
- Union Hospital Tuscarawas Ambulatory Surgery Center (320 Oxford St, Dover)
- The Surgery Center at Akron General (4125 Medina Road, Bath)
In addition, the following hospitals will reduce operating room teams but will continue to provide urgent and emergent surgical services:
- Avon Hospital
- Euclid Hospital
- Lutheran Hospital
- Marymount Hospital
- Medina Hospital
- South Pointe Hospital
- Union Hospital
We are committed to our caregivers and communities and will continue to fulfill our patients-first mission.
Caregivers who experience lack of work due to this temporary suspension in services will continue to be paid regular wages and accrue benefits. Individual caregivers may be reassigned within their hospital, institute or division, or asked to participate in a general labor pool as we identify areas of the organization where the needs are greatest.
Thank you for your teamwork and flexibility as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Labor Pool Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How will I know if I will be reassigned locally or placed in the Enterprise labor pool?
A:Your manager will make that determination based on the availability of work, patient and organizational needs.
Q: Will my pay and benefits continue at the same or at a reduced amount?
A:Without knowing the duration of this announcement from the Governor, we can only say that at this point in time your pay and benefits will continue at their present levels.
Q: What happens if there is no alternate work assignment available? Will I still receive pay and benefits?
A:Every effort will be made to reassign you; however, if we are unable to provide you with an assignment, you will still be paid for your regularly scheduled shifts.
Q: Will I be assigned to alternate work away from my present location?
A:Yes. Work assignments will be made where the need is greatest.
Q: What if I am not able to accept my reassignment?
A:If you are offered an assignment and do not accept, you will need to either use PTO or take the shift unpaid.
Q: If I am not reassigned locally, for how long will I be placed in the general labor pool?
A:Caregivers remain in the general labor pool anywhere from one week to the return of operations at normal service levels.
Q: Will I be doing my normal job while on reassignment?
A:Our goal is to match caregivers’ skills with the requirements of their reassigned roles. Clinical caregivers will likely be placed in roles that will utilize their clinical skills.
Q: Once reassigned, will I work the same shift as my primary role?
A:We will make every effort to assign caregivers to their normal shift. However, if you know that you have availability on an alternate shift, please notify your manager. Your flexibility will be helpful in making assignments.
Q: What will happen if I cannot accept a reassignment due to transportation or other personal reasons?
A:We will continue to work within your personal circumstances in finding you an appropriate reassignment. In the interim, if you are offered an assignment and do not accept, you will need to either use PTO or take the shift unpaid.
Q: Will I still have access to my benefits and other employee services?
A:Yes. You will have full access to your benefits and other employee services. Online access to ONE HR Services and Workday on any computer or mobile device will continue uninterrupted. The ONE HR Service Center is available for specific questions. Caring for Caregivers, our employee assistance program, remains available for counseling and other supportive services.
Q: Should I apply for unemployment compensation?
A:You should not apply for unemployment compensation because your employment is not being terminated. You will remain in an active status, and you will not experience loss of wages or benefits. If this were to change, you will be officially notified.