Welcome to the UCH Internal database of COVID-19 Communication. This page will serve as a place to view current and previous communications and documents related to the COVID-19 and how it affects you/our organization. Please feel free to reach out to blake.barnes@uthsc.edu with any questions or concerns.

 

Important Links:
Staff Protocol for Employees with Symptoms
CDC PPE Video
Staying Safe
COVID-19 Employee Exposure Form
UCH Screening Protocols 
COVID screener confidentiality agreement

 

 

CLINIC SUPPLY ORDERS:
Supply Order Form

 

 

Communication Thread: 

 

COVID TESTING SITE UPDATES: Published 9-03-2020

To schedule an appointment, please text “COVID” to 901-203-5526.

**Testing is for all ages**

 

2355 Appling City Cove (Old vehicle inspection station)

Monday-Friday, 830am-4pm *By Appointment Only*

Saturday, 830am-12pm *By Appointment Only*

 

 

 

Universal use of PPE: Published 7-12-2020

Dear UCH Physicians and Employees:  The CDC updated guidance on July 9 and now recommends eye protection for patient care encounters in areas with moderate to substantial community COVID-19 transmission.   UCH is supplying face shields to the clinics this week.  The face shields are laser cut (so burn marks may be visible). This type of face shield is more durable and will extend usage.  Full text of CDC guidance is at the link below. Brad Canada, MD
CMO  Implement Universal Use of Personal Protective Equipment

  • HCP working in facilities located in areas with moderate to substantial community transmission are more likely to encounter asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. If SARS-CoV-2 infection is not suspected in a patient presenting for care (based on symptom and exposure history), HCP should follow Standard Precautions (and Transmission-Based Precautions if required based on the suspected diagnosis).
    They should also:
    • Wear eye protection in addition to their facemask to ensure the eyes, nose, and mouth are all protected from exposure to respiratory secretions during patient care encounters.

 

 

 

Social Distancing Protocol Updated: Published 7-2-2020

 

UCH’s Social Distancing Protocols:  

  • Employees are required to wear a mask at all times in common areas and when interfacing with one another. 

    • HR has masks for your utilization. 

    • A cloth mask can be utilized.  We ask that you wash and sanitize it appropriately.  Per CDC guidelines you will need to launder and machine dry without damage or change to shape.

  • In-person meetings should be in a large meeting room where people can sit at least six feet from each other.

  • Do not congregate in workrooms, break rooms, copier rooms, or other areas where people socialize.  Keep six feet apart when possible. 

  • Eat at your desk or away from others if possible (avoid crowded breakrooms). 

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible, or use hand sanitizer frequently. 

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with the sleeve or elbow.  Avoid touching your face – especially eyes, nose, and mouth – with your hands.

  • Regularly clean high-touch surfaces.

  • Do not shake hands.

 

 

Supply Order Form Updated: Published 6-12-2020

 

Supply Order Form

 

 

COVID-19 Employee Screening Protocol: Published 6-9-2020

 

UCH Screening Protocols 
COVID screener confidentiality agreement

 

As we begin to phase our employees and clinics back to a new normal, various policies and protocol will be put in place. These policies and protocol are established to ensure the safety and well being of our employees. Please click HERE or the link above  to view our new screening process that will go into effect on Thursday, June 11, 2020.
 
Thank you so much for your cooperation. As always, we are grateful for each and every one of you.
 
-Franswil Boyd, Director of Human Resources

 

 

Updated COVID-19: Published 5-1-2020

 

UCH Team,
Looking back over the course of the pandemic, I want to applaud you all for your contributions in addressing our community’s needs. I am proud of our organization’s flexibility and adaptability during this exceedingly difficult time.  
 
During the safer-at-home order, our patients in many service areas have been unable to come into our sites, and so our volume has decreased substantially. Because we have been unable to see many of our patients face to face, when possible, our physicians have offered telehealth services for our patients. Our operational leadership team has worked hard to preserve employment as much as possible by deploying many staff members to support the mobile testing site located at Tiger Lane.  
 
Thank you to all our team members for your willingness to adapt. In doing so, you allow UCH to continue to serve our community in spite of the challenges we face.  
 
Given the economic challenges we face, we have had to make tough operational decisions and reduce some of our team’s normally scheduled hours. Employees affected by the reduction in hours will maintain an employment relationship with UCH. We are hopeful that we are able to reverse these measures soon, and we expect to increase staff’s hours as we resume services in affected departments.  
 
Looking forward, the state of Tennessee will soon begin to lift the stay-at-home orders put in place in response to COVID-19, but this does not mean life will return to normal anytime soon. 
 
Like the rest of the world, we will need to define a new normal for the organization. Your leaders are working on updated clinic protocols and schedules which ensure that we can deliver excellent patient care while maintaining a safe environment for our staff. Thank you for your patience as we work through this process.
 
I know that these are incredibly stressful times. I encourage you all to access our Employee Assistance Program for resources to help. I firmly believe as difficult as these days are, we will persevere. Our ability to keep UCH strong requires us to remain responsive to this landscape as it changes. I am confident in our ability to do so.
 
Stay safe,
Jon

 

 

COVID-19 Screening Flyer: Published 4-23-2020

 

 

Updated COVID-19 Staff Protocol for Employees with Symptoms: Published 4-20-2020

 

 

COVID-19 Facemasks: Published 4-17-2020

 

UCH now has an ample supply (but not unlimited) of surgical facemasks. Please review the below guidelines for their use. 
 
All patient facing employees should wear a surgical face mask and attempt social distancing of 6 feet as much as possible. Continue patient screenings and protocols for fever and cough.  
 
  •  UCH asks that employees implement the extended use of facemasks: The extended use of facemasks is the practice of wearing the same facemask for repeated close contact encounters with several different patients, without removing the facemask between patient encounters. The facemask should be removed and discarded if soiled, damaged, or hard to breathe through.  Health care providers (HCP’s) must take care not to touch their facemask. If they touch or adjust their facemask they must immediately perform hand hygiene. HCP should leave the patient care area if they need to remove the facemask.  
  • Non-patient facing employees are encouraged to wear cloth face coverings when stationed in a public area, but this is not a substitute for social distancing with a minimum of 6 feet.
 
Thank you, 
Brad

 

 

COVID-19 Updates: Published 4-9-2020

 

UCH Team,

 

I hope my email finds you safe and well. As we close out this week, I want to share with you an update on an additional way that UCH is working hard alongside UTHSC to combat COVID-19 in our community.  

Apart from the care our physicians and health professionals deliver inside our clinical locations and area hospitals, we have many employees in our organization partnering with UTHSC and other community healthcare providers at the COVID-19 Mobile Testing Site located at Tiger Lane. This site and the supporting call center is staffed by medical school student volunteers, volunteers from area health systems, and UCH employees and tests approximately 150 people per day. 

Under the supervision of UTHSC, UCH, and the City of Memphis, we hope to continue with this effort to supply tests to the public free of charge. If you, a friend, or family member feel that you have COVID-19 symptoms, please text “COVID” to 901-203-5526 to access our online questionnaire. From there, if your symptoms match, you may schedule an appointment at the testing site. 

I am so proud of how the UCH team has stepped up during this unprecedented time to protect the health and safety of our community. This would not be possible without each of you.  

Thank you, and stay safe.

Jon

 

COVID-19 Updates: Published 4-8-2020

 

Dear UCH physicians and staff:
 
Here are some updates related to UCH and the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
As CDC guidance has been updated, we are asking the following for the protection of patients and employees:
  • All patient facing employees should wear a surgical face mask and always attempt social distancing of 6 feet as much as possible. Continue patient screenings and protocols for fever and cough.  
  • Please note that we are working to ensure each location maintains supply of masks for their staff. Thank you for your patience! 
  • All non-patient facing employees should maintain strict social distancing with a minimum of 6 feet. Desks and cubicles should be arranged such that distancing is maintained. Group meetings should be held virtually. Non-patient facing employees can wear cloth face masks. Supervisors should consider work at home models if not done already. 
  • Avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. If necessary, clean and disinfect them before and after use.

Here are some common-sense reminders:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. 
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs. 
  • For those who have interest, watch the UTHSC ENT video, led by Sanjeet V. Rangarajan MD, on the proper way to do a nasal-pharyngeal swab for COVID testing: https://youtu.be/tSpC7c5UNHE
-Brad
 
R. Brad Canada, M.D. M.S.| Chief Medical Officer
University Clinical Health
 
 
 
 
 

COVID-19 Test: Taking a Nasopharyngeal Swab: Published 4-7-2020

 

COVID-19 Test Results: Published 4-7-2020

UCH Team, 

It seems that a few of you have been receiving questions regarding the COVID-19 test results at the mobile site. if you have or in the event that you do, please direct them to UTTestingSite@uthsc.edu or instruct the patient to call the nursing line at 901-209-9678. 

 

 

 

PPE Supply List Updates: Published 4-3-2020

 

COVID-19 Updates: Published 3-27-2020

 
Dear UCH Team,
I hope my email today finds you all safe and well today. I would like to take a moment to update you all on UCH’s current patient care protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
We can all appreciate that there is no operating manual for our current situation, but our goal is unchanged in that we need to remain in a position to see patients who need care. I’ve directed our physician leadership to work with their faculty to exercise good judgement and make sound decisions based on the information at hand to determine which patients to see.  
 
Currently, our outpatient footprint is very limited, and where possible, we are working to offer telehealth services to our patients. Your department director will keep each of you updated on patient care protocols and how these protocols affect your work schedule.  
 
Thank you all for your demonstrated patience and flexibility as we navigate this uncertain time together. Each of you plays a critical and vital role in our organization, and I am so proud of all you have accomplished during this time.  
 
Please continue to visit https://www.universityclinicalhealth.com/covid19/ for the latest updates on the UCH response to COVID-19.
 
Stay safe,
Jon

 

 

 

COVID-19 Updates: Published 3-27-2020

Dear UCH Physicians-
 
Here are latest UCH actions and updates regarding the coronavirus pandemic:
  • UCH’s goal is unchanged in that we need to remain in a position to see patients who need care. As we all know, routine care, if not handled in a timely manner, can become urgent care, more complicated care, or inpatient care. UCH plans to leave decisions about which patients to see to the departments and its physicians, as it is the physicians that can best identify the route to “first, do no harm” for their patients. Obviously, medical professionals are exempt from the Safer at Home Initiative. 
  • With decreased patient encounters, UCH is entering a time of financial uncertainly. Operational leadership is working further on reducing outpatient operations. As a result of this reduction as well as the cessation of most outpatient procedures, UCH is taking the following steps to maintain financial viability.
  • Clinical support staff is being asked to take leave when there is not enough work to perform.
  • Physicians who are not in the office/hospital or seeing patients will be asked to record PTO for those days out of the office.
  • Like the University, UCH will hire only mission-critical staff effective immediately. HR is working with department leadership to assess open positions.
  • Certain departments may close their office operations for up to a week at a time to decrease expense.
  • Use extreme caution with travel to other areas of the country as it is possible quarantines could be instituted for those traveling from “Hot Spots”. 
  • UCH otolaryngologist, Dr. Sanjeet Rangarajan, asks that anyone who has a COVID+ patient complete the Anosmia Reporting Tool. Here is the link: https://www.entnet.org/content/reporting-tool-patients-anosmia-related-covid-19
 
Please visit https://www.universityclinicalhealth.com/covid19/ for the latest updates on the UCH response to COVID-19.
 
Stay safe,
Brad

 

COVID-19 Self-Screening Poster: Published 3-25-2020

 

Staff Protocol for Employees with Symptoms: Published 3-24-2020

 

UCH Social Distancing Protocol: Published 3-23-2020

 

COVID-19 Employee Exposure Form: Published 3-20-2020

 

 

COVID-19 Updates: Published 3-20-2020

Dear UCH Team,
I hope my email finds you all healthy and well. I want to thank you all for your service this week. I applaud your efforts and willingness to report to work and serve our patients and community in midst of the current global pandemic. Without each of you, we are unable to deliver care to our community and our patients. 
 
Thank you. 
 
Please continue to visit https://www.universityclinicalhealth.com/covid19/ for the latest information on UCH’s response to coronavirus. 
 
I wish you all a safe weekend with your families, and I urge you all to make practice good hand hygiene and social distancing to reduce the impact on our health system. 
 
Stay well,
Jon McCullers
 
 
 
 

COVID-19 Updates: Published 3-18-2020

Dear UCH Team,
 
I want to take a moment to encourage you all as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic together. Thank you for your service during this unprecedented time. As healthcare providers, we provide an essential service for society and are currently serving at the frontlines of the response to this global pandemic. 
 
UCH is committed to the health and welfare of our patients, employees, and community, and so we are staying abreast of CDC recommendations as they evolve. We are reevaluating our patient care protocols and organizational policies daily to ensure we are responsive to the latest developments and acting in accordance with best practices. 
 
I encourage you all to visit https://www.universityclinicalhealth.com/covid19/ for the latest information on UCH’s response to coronavirus. 
 
I have great faith in our leadership to see us through this unprecedented period of uncertainty. This is likely to be a difficult time ahead of us, but we will persevere and optimistically emerge better equipped to handle the next public health crisis. 
 
Thank you all for your service to our patients and community,
Jon McCullers
 
 
 

COVID-19 Updates: Published 3-17-2020

Dear UCH Employees:

In an effort to continually update you on UCH’s response to coronavirus, we are establishing a website on UCH intranet .  Please visit https://www.universityclinicalhealth.com/covid19/ for more information. 

Employee Illness

UCH is asking that any employee who develops fever (a temperature of 100.4 F or higher) and respiratory symptoms to stay home and follow the attached UCH protocol including the appropriate notifications to your supervisor and Human Resources Department.  For more general information about what to do if you are sick, please refer to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

External Meetings

Effective immediately, UCH requests that all meetings held with external parties are conducted virtually if possible.  We will monitor the situation and adjust our policies as needed.

Employee Travel

Effective immediately, UCH is restricting all business-related travel through April 30th and asks that you work with your direct supervisor to reschedule where possible. We will monitor the situation and adjust our policies as needed.

 **Please note the following regarding self-quarantine procedures and the differences involved if you are also a UTHSC Employee**

  • UCH Employees who have traveled to countries defined by CDC as Risk Level 3 will be self-quarantined at home for 14 days upon return in accordance with CDC guidelines. CDC risk levels at the time the employee returns to the US will guide decisions about quarantine or monitoring.
  • UTHSC is currently requiring employees to self-isolate for 14 days if they are returning to the U.S. from any other country or a cruise. UCH will follow UT guidance for those with dual employment by UTHSC/UCH.
CLICK HERE FOR UCH COVID19 Staff Protocol

We are asking all staff to be cautious about personal travel at this time and notify Human Resources and your supervisor of any travel plans outside of the US planned prior to April 30th. If you fall into one of the above categories and are required to self-quarantine, you will be required to use PTO to cover time away from the office.  Of course, these policies may change in accordance with developing situations. 

—-And as always, stay safe and keep washing your hands. 

-Brad Canada, MD, MS | CMO

 

 

COVID-19 Updates: Published 3-16-2020

Dear UCH Physician Leaders –

UTHSC and UCH are continuing to monitor the national and local responses to COVID-19 and keeping abreast of CDC recommendations as they evolve.  As a follow up to yesterday’s email, below are steps that UCH is taking today as an organization to ensure that we remain able to treat our patients during this very fluid situation:

  • Directors of Operations have been asked to contact you or your designee(s) for guidance on classifying the upcoming two weeks of appointments into two categories emergent/urgent and non-urgent/routine.   Our goal is to be in a position to see any and all patients who are scheduled and present our clinics.  At the same time, if we encounter a shortage of either clinic personnel or supplies, emergent/urgent patient care may need to be prioritized over the non-urgent patient visits.  Clinicians may want to consider deferring or remotely managing non-urgent clinical situations that do not necessarily need to come into the office (e.g. phone refills for stable or asymptomatic patients).  All departments are being asked to have these conversations by the close of business Tuesday, March 17th. 
  • All planned cancellations of clinic schedules and/or surgery schedules should be approved by the department chair.  
  • Daily operational touch-point conference calls with UCH Directors of Operations and other vital support personnel will begin immediately so that we can better centrally manage any staffing or supply shortages by redirecting resources where necessary.
  • Memphis Surgery Center will remain open and fully operational for the time being.  As with our the physician offices, staffing and supply shortages may dictate the rescheduling of surgical cases at some point in the future but as of today the MSC has more than adequate supplies.  Again at the current time, all cancellations of surgery schedules should be approved by the department chair. 

We are establishing a site to ensure all staff and faculty stay up to date on the latest updates on the UCH response to COVID-19.  Please visit https://www.universityclinicalhealth.com/covid19/ for more information
-Brad Canada, MD | CMO

 

 

COVID-19 Updates: Published 3-14-2020

Dear UCH Employees-

UCH is continuing to monitor the national response to COVID-19 and keeping abreast of CDC recommendations as they evolve.  The health and welfare UCH patients and employees are of the highest priority during this period.  

As noted in the communication earlier this week to providers, all clinic managers have had training on the attached triage of and telephone communication with potential COVID-19 patients. The managers’ instructions are to work with their physicians to individualize these protocols to the location and needs of the clinics’ patients. These protocols will be changed as CDC guidance changes. 

Besides the office protocols, attached is a guide to donning and removing personal protective equipment (PPE).  

**Remember**

1. Be sure the patient fits the criteria for use of PPE as a shortage exists of N95 respirators.

2. Dispose of PPE (except the respirator) before leaving a patient’s room.  

3. Remove the respirator after leaving the room. 

Stay well, 

Brad Canada, MD | CMO

Click HERE for Clinic Flow Chart

Click HERE for CDC Guidelines Concerning PPE

 

 

COVID-19 and Travel: Published 3-14-2020

To: All UCH Physicians and Employees

From: UCH Administrative Leadership Team

Re: UCH and Travel

Date: March 14, 2020

As you are aware, the COVID-19 situation is very fluid. The CDC has updated travel guidance, and UTHSC has imposed travel restrictions. 

Effective immediately, UCH is restricting all business-related travel through April 30th and asks that you work with your direct supervisor to reschedule where possible. We will monitor the situation and adjust our policies as needed. 

**Please note the following regarding self-quarantine procedures and the differences involved if you are also a UTHSC Employee**

– UCH Employees who have traveled to countries defined by CDC as Risk Level 3 will be self-quarantined at home for 14 days upon return in accordance with CDC guidelines. CDC risk levels at the time a Provider returns to the US will guide decisions about quarantine or monitoring.

 -UTHSC is currently requiring employees to self-isolate for 14 days if they are returning to the U.S. from any other country or a cruise. UCH will follow UT guidance for those with dual employment by UTHSC/UCH.

We are asking all staff to be cautious about personal travel at this time and notify Human Resources of any travel plans outside of the US planned prior to April 30th. If you fall into one of the above categories and are required to self-quarantine, you will be required to use PTO to cover time away from the office. Exceptions to the above policy will necessarily be very limited but can be submitted to your manager/director for case by case review.