Dear Labor Partners/Employer Representatives,
Please see information request, below, in relation to the coronavirus situation. We are doing our part to ensure that the hospitals and members we represent can be prepared to identify and care for any patients or staff who may have or may be suspected of having CoronaVirus (2019-nCoV). The safety of our members and their ability to care for our communities is paramount as the reach of the virus evolves.
To ensure the health and well-being of our members and their patients, we are asking all our hospital partners to take steps aligned with the CDC Preparedness Checklist. With that in mind, the following information is requested.
What steps has the hospital taken thus far to:
- Prevent spread of 2019-nCoV?
- Identify and isolate patients with 2019-nCoV and inform key facility staff and public health authorities?
- Care for a limited number of patients with known or suspected 2019-nCoV as part of routine operations?
- Potentially care for a larger number of patients in the context of escalating transmission?
- Outline plans for internal and external communication?
- Monitor and manage healthcare personnel with potential for exposure to 2019-nCoV?
- Manage the impact on patients, the facility, and healthcare personnel?
The CDC recommends the following checklist and highlights some key areas for hospitals to review in preparation for 2019-nCoV.
- Ensure facility infection prevention and control policies are consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2019-nCoV guidance
- What procedures have been developed for rapidly identifying and isolating suspected 2019-nCoV patients?
- What is the ability to implement triage activities based on public health guidance including at the facility and using remote (i.e., phone, internet-based) methods where appropriate to minimize demand on the health care system?
- How many negative pressure rooms are available and what steps have been taken to ensure that negative-pressure airborne infection isolation rooms are available and functioning correctly and are appropriately monitored for airflow and exhaust handling?
- What assessments have been done on availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other infection prevention and control supplies (e.g., hand hygiene supplies) that would be used for both healthcare personnel (HCP) protection and source control for infected patients (e.g., facemask on the patient)?
- What is the facility’s contingency plans if the demand for PPE or other supplies exceeds supply? What is the current supply level?
- Please attach any plans for implementation of surge capacity procedures and crisis standards of care. Is there a contingency plan to staff up RNs if needed?
- Please provide policies & procedures for laboratory submission of specimens for 2019-nCoV testing.
- Has there been an assessment on the effectiveness of environmental cleaning procedures (https://www.cdc.gov/HAI/toolkits/Evaluating-Environmental-Cleaning.html); What education/refresher training has been provided for environmental services personnel and other HCPs?
- Please attach any policies and procedures for monitoring and managing HCP with potential for exposure to 2019-nCoV, including ensuring that HCP have ready access, including via telephone, to medical consultation.
- Have all staff and appropriate HCPs been medically cleared, fit-tested, and trained for respirator use and/or PAPR?
- Please provide the education and refresher training to HCP regarding 2019-nCoV diagnosis, how to obtain specimen testing, appropriate PPE use, triage procedures including patient placement, HCP sick leave policies, and how and to whom 2019-nCoV cases should be reported, procedures to take following unprotected exposures (i.e., not wearing recommended PPE) to suspected 2019-nCoV patients at the facility.
- What are plans for visitor access and movement within the facility?
- Which specific persons have been designated within the facility who are responsible for communication with public health officials and dissemination of information to other HCP at the facility and SEIU121RN?
- Who is the local or state health department contact for reporting 2019-nCoV cases and confirm reporting requirements? Please provide their name, title, phone and email address and agency they work for.
On behalf of our members and the patients they care for, I am requesting that you provide this information to us within ten (10) days. If you have already shared information with us, I thank you in advance. For anyone who has shared information, If there is anything contained in this request that has not already been provided, forward to us as soon as possible – but in no event later than ten (10) days from today.
Should any of you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Rosanna Mendez, Executive Director SEIU Local 121RN