Caregiver Updates

Screening Updates

On April 1, Intermountain facilities will begin to implement a questionnaire and temperature check screening process for visitors, patients, and caregivers. This screening process reduces the risk of exposure helps keep our communities healthy and safe from the spread of COVID-19. Some facilities have already implemented these changes, and others plan to implement over the coming days.

Once implemented, screening will be required of all patients, guests, and caregivers (clinical and non-clinical staff) in all Intermountain care facilities before entering clinical areas. This includes a temperature check and some brief questions developed by our infection prevention partners.

Not all facilities have implemented the temperature screening process as of 4/1/20, and each facility may take a different approach on where caregiver screening will take place. Please watch for communication from your local leadership or your manager on when this will be implemented and where you can complete your questionnaire and temperature screen (for example, at main visitor entrances or in your work area), as this will vary by facility.

Once implemented, all caregivers working on-site at a patient care facility (for example, a hospital or clinic) must be screened and have their temperature taken at the beginning of shift. Intermountain will soon implement this same process for caregivers that work in non-patient care facilities (e.g. office buildings). Caregivers who display symptoms during the screening will be asked to return home, notify their manager, and call Ask HR at 801-442-7547 to speak with an Employee Health nurse. 

A Message from the Incident Commander

Each week, one of Intermountain’s incident commanders will share what is happening in operations and planning as we face COVID-19. This week’s 2-minute video message from Rob Allen, Senior VP and COO includes: One of our key infection control doctors, Eddie Stenehjem, welcomes a new baby amid the pandemic. Dynamic models help us prepare for surging numbers in our hospitals. Plans in the coming weeks include 5 million masks, 40,000 face shields, and 20,000 reusable gowns. And a heart-felt thank-you to the frontline.

More about our Incident Command System. Intermountain is operating under a virtual Hospital Incident Command System (HICS), aligning us across they system and connecting with other government, public safety, law enforcement, and health organizations. Our three incident commanders include Rob Allen, Dr. Mark Briesacher, Senior VP and chief physician executive; and Sue Robel, Senior VP and chief nursing executive. Watch the video and share with your colleagues.

Donation Guidelines

To protect our patients, caregivers, and communities from the spread of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), Intermountain Healthcare is not accepting any drop-off donations of toys, blankets, and other physical items at this time. We appreciate your understanding, and thank you for your commitment to keeping our communities healthy and thriving. In lieu of drop-off donations, please consider giving online or over the phone at 801-442-3443.

Food at Work

The CDC and FDA advises that COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) is not transmitted by food or food packaging.

Please use good hygiene practices around food in your meetings, work areas, and at home.

  • Wash hands and surfaces often.
  • When handling and preparing foods, separate raw meat from other foods.
  • Cook foods to the recommended temperature and refrigerate foods promptly. 
  • COVID-19 cannot survive in cooked food, but pre-packaged food may be the safest choice.

This remains a dynamic situation and Intermountain's Nutrition Services team will continue to assess and update guidance as needed.

General Hygiene Practices

The overall general best practices to avoid contracting viruses are:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 15 - 20 seconds. If soap and water aren't available, use a 60-percent alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand.
  • Wear a mask in public if you have a fever, are coughing or sneezing, have a runny nose, or are having difficulty breathing.
  • Stay home when you're sick and keep sick children home from school.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

In patient care situations, wear appropriate PPE as the best line of defense.

Meetings and Events

Our goal is to balance day-to-day normal business with keeping caregivers safe.

Before scheduling any meeting or event, follow Intermountain's Effective Meeting Guidelines by ensuring a meeting is necessary to accomplish your objectives. If it is necessary to hold a meeting or event, meet virtually by utilizing SkypeWebEx, or other remote participation tools.

If you determine an in-person meeting is essential, avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.

We strongly recommend postponing meetings that bring external people into our facilities, unless it is mission critical or has safety or system strategy impact. In those situations, please hold a virtual meeting where possible.

We strongly recommend cancelling or postponing public events. Events can be rescheduled when the risk of the virus spreading is no longer a concern.

We will continue to update this guidance as the situation evolves.

Patient Privacy

We've seen an increase in caregivers inappropriately accessing patient information. Protecting patient privacy and confidentiality is every caregiver's responsibility.  

  • Do not access a patient's chart, unless you are the direct care provider.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and your voice level when talking with patients and other caregivers to minimize the risk that someone will overhear confidential information.  
  • All media relations, including social media, are coordinated ONLY by our Marketing and Communications Team.

Person to Person Contact at Work

The CDC advises that COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) is spread in two ways: from person to person, or through contact with infected surfaces or objects. To reduce potential spread, avoid handshakes or other direct contact. Use a verbal greeting, a wave, an elbow bump, smile, or a pat on the back as alternatives.

Visitor Restrictions Policies

Intermountain Hospitals and Emergency Rooms
  • No hospital visitors will be allowed except in the following circumstances:

Two visitors allowed only for:

  • Obstetric patients – one visitor for entire hospitalization, and one contracted doula (labor only)
  • Healthy newborns – both parents/guardians allowed
  • End-of-life patients

One visitor allowed only for:

  • Minors under age 18 — one visitor or guardian per day
  • Patients with disruptive behaviors or altered mental status (where caregiver provides safety/information)
  • Patients undergoing surgery or procedures — one visitor who must leave the hospital as soon as reasonable after the procedure
  • Patients who have an appointment at a hospital-based clinic, laboratory or radiology department, or visiting the Emergency Department
  • Patients at admission and discharge

We DO NOT allow visitors under the age of 18 to enter the facility except to seek care for themselves.

There will be no visitors allowed to patients who have been confirmed or possibly have COVID-19.

Please wash your hands or use alcohol sanitizer before and after leaving a patient room, exam room and a facility.

Speak with unit charge nurse about questions or special circumstances.

 

Intermountain Clinics and InstaCares
  • No hospital visitors will be allowed except in the following circumstances:

Two visitors allowed only for:

  • Obstetric patients – one visitor for entire hospitalization, and one contracted doula (labor only)
  • Healthy newborns – both parents/guardians allowed
  • End-of-life patients

One visitor allowed only for:

  • Minors under age 18 — one visitor or guardian per day
  • Patients with disruptive behaviors or altered mental status (where caregiver provides safety/information)
  • Patients undergoing surgery or procedures — one visitor who must leave the hospital as soon as reasonable after the procedure
  • Patients who have an appointment at a hospital-based clinic, laboratory or radiology department, or visiting the Emergency Department
  • Patients at admission and discharge

We DO NOT allow visitors under the age of 18 to enter the facility except to seek care for themselves.

There will be no visitors allowed to patients who have been confirmed or possibly have COVID-19.

Please wash your hands or use alcohol sanitizer before and after leaving a patient room, exam room and a facility.

Speak with unit charge nurse about questions or special circumstances.

Talking Points for Caregivers

CME-related Refunds and Cancellations

Here's how to manage CME refunds and cancellations and their associated fees:

  1. Please don't book any new CME activities until further notice. In accordance with Intermountain mandatory travel restrictions, no CME expenses will be approved. This will be re-evaluated at the end of May.
  2. The Office of Physician and Advanced Practice Provider Affairs will work with you to make sure your CME-related expenses are properly managed and covered by Intermountain. Intermountain won't cover non-refundable fees for family members who were planning to accompany you as part of a planned family trip.

Please review the frequently asked questions below for more clarification.

Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTION/CONCERN ANSWER
What process should I follow to have non-refundable CME costs, including cancellation fees, credited back to my CME pool for later use? Please fill out the attached "CME Travel Cancelation Credit Form" with the applicable information and return to Rick Christensen in Accounting. He'll use that form to track and update your CME funds balance.

Is Intermountain going to impose penalties if someone doesn't follow the travel restriction policy?

 

Yes. Intermountain won't pay for expenses or reimburse expenses for travel if someone doesn't follow the mandate. There are very limited potential exceptions (board certification exams for example). Those situations can be submitted to Susan DuBois for decisions by senior leadership.
What about CME funds which are close to expiration where I was planning to either book or have booked? A 60-day extension will be provided which may be revisited pending the length of the travel restriction.
What if a provider had booked CME so that they wouldn't lose the money? If they can't travel for the next few months will they just lose the funds when they go above the $7,000? The maximum limit for CME funds is $7,000.Exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis.
Will non-refundable CME costs such as airfare, hotel, conference, and other fees be reimbursed by Intermountain?

We want to put effort into recovering costs if possible (i.e. Many conferences and airlines are issuing credits). Any cancellation costs/fees will not be counted against your annual CME fundDirect fees will be covered and returned to the provider's CME pool for later use.

Any non-refundable expenses which can be used at a later date need to be tracked and utilized before expiration. If the items were booked on the provider's personal credit card, a refund will be given.

Will I be reimbursed by Intermountain if I used a personal credit card to pay for non-refundable CME costs such as airfare, hotel, conference, and other fees? If the items were booked on the provider's personal credit card, reimbursement should follow the standard travel reimbursement process.The non-refundable amount will be returned to the provider's CME pool for later use.
What about non-refundable or other fees for my family? Intermountain won't cover non-refundable or other fees for family members. These are much like a planned family trip and not part of the CME package nor as a business expense. Intermountain will not reimburse for spouse travel, tickets to events, etc.
Can I book CME activities for later in the year? No. Please don't book any new CME activities until further notice.
Should I travel to meetings in other parts of the system? No. We're encouraging WebEx for all non-essential meetings.

 
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