During this COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring employee health and safety is a top priority for Marshfield Clinic Health System.
We actively assess our policies and procedures regarding employee health and safety on a daily basis as additional guidance is communicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This includes working with managers and staff to ensure employee health and safety are a top priority for all during this time.
Proper PPE for each situation
Supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and N95 (respirator) masks for health care workers to use when treating COVID-19 patients is limited across the United States. To help ensure our health care teams at the Health System have enough supplies, we have:
- Submitted orders for additional PPE and N95 (respirator) masks.
- Worked with community partners to find PPE and N95 (respirator) masks that are not in use in the communities we serve.
- Collected PPE and N95 (respirator) masks that were located at our
temporarily closed centers.
All staff are being given the right PPE for each situation. All staff are to wear surgical masks as an extra layer of protection for all interactions with patients. We are following all guidelines enacted by the CDC to help preserve PPE and N95 (respirator) masks for staff to use during the anticipated surge of COVID-19 patients at our facilities.
Dedicated COVID-19 areas
In many of the regions we serve, we have dedicated areas to screen, diagnose and treat potential COVID-19 patients. These areas include:
- Cough/fever clinics to screen patients.
- COVID-19-dedicated units to treat patients.
A plan to begin preparing and practicing for the eventual surge of COVID-19 patients also is in place, and a PPE officer has been assigned to help coordinate getting PPE to the right staff members. These areas to screen and treat patients have been created to ensure staff and patients that do not have COVID-19 can stay separated from those that do have COVID-19.
Screening staff and patients
To ensure our facilities are safe, we began
screening protocols for all patients and staff that enter our facilities on March 24. This screening protocol ensures that the patients and staff at our facilities are healthy and do not have any indicators that suggest they may need further evaluation for COVID-19.
Staff working from home
As a health care organization, we have many parts of our organization that are essential to ensure the health and safety of our patients. However, a large part of our staff can work from home. We began working with employees and their managers on March 16 to transition our employees to working remotely from home.
Less people in our facilities
In an effort to minimize the potential exposure to our patients and staff, we have made many changes to our policies and procedures surrounding our locations, appointments and visitors including:
These changes have allowed us to reallocate providers, staff and supplies in anticipation of a surge of patients who may have COVID-19 and most importantly, keep our patients and staff safe.
Social and emotional support
This is an incredibly stressful time for our staff. Our Wellness@Work team is dedicated to ensuring the mental health of all staff during this time. We have many resources for providers, managers and staff including those relating to:
- Stress management and anxiety.
- Workout/fitness and boosting immunity through nutrition.
- Healthy sleep tips.
- Working remotely.
- Parenting and family activities.