19 May, 2020
Hi Team –
Slowly, but surely – and most importantly, safely – our community is taking the necessary steps forward to re-open and begin our “new norm” together. While we are still far from our pre-pandemic normal of just 10 weeks ago, we are now capably managing what will be an ongoing, but hopefully steady (and eventually diminishing) presence of COVID-19 in our region and throughout the world. By adhering to our state’s early mitigation measures, we have flattened the exponential spread rate of the virus (sometimes referred to as the reproductive coefficient or “R-Rate”) from 1 contagious person infecting nearly 3 other people (3 R-Rate) at the start of the surge, to now 1 contagious person infecting less than 1 other person (< 1 R-Rate). To prevent a second surge of COVID-19 cases, it’s critical that we keep the R-Rate below 1 by continuing to follow the mitigation measures in place. This will also be important for safely restarting the economy and enabling our team members, patients, and the community to feel confident and unafraid getting “back to work” and “back to life” in this new post-surge norm. Over the past week, we’ve made important progress on both fronts, and here’s the latest…
- Modified inpatient visitor policy to provide greater patient comfort and support. With COVID-19 cases now being safely diagnosed, treated, and managed separately from our non-COVID-19 inpatient population, we are pleased to be able to ease the “no visitor” restrictions within our area’s inpatient hospital settings. Our own John Ward, Senior Leader for the Bethesda Region, and Dr. Bryan Strader, President of TPP, led this regional collaboration, resulting in all area health systems modifying their visitor policies together as one healthcare community! Effective Monday, May 18, non-COVID patients are allowed one designated visitor each day from 9am – 7pm. The visitor must wear a mask at all times while on-site. The outpatient visitor policy remains unchanged at this time. Refer to the Visitor Restrictions section on Bridge for complete details on the new inpatient visitor policy guidelines.
- Launched regional campaign to encourage community to get the care they need. To further ensure our patients feel safe and comfortable returning for care, we’ve also partnered with area health systems and the Health Collaborative to create a public service campaign themed, “We’re Here. We’re Safe, We’re Ready.” The campaign includes a radio spot and the following Public Service Announcement (PSA) featuring three of TriHealth’s own frontline caregivers – Janee Bey, MD, System Chief of Inpatient Medicine; Mel Cook, BSN, Nurse Manager; and Mike Jones, Supervisor. The TV and radio spots will air throughout the summer and are aimed at reassuring a concerned community that our hospitals are safe and that delaying care can often bring tragic consequences.
- Continuing to advance Phase I Back to Work transition. Now in Week 3 of the first phase of our transition plan to get TriHealth “back in business,” we continue to restart more services and gradually bring back more team members as patients slowly schedule new appointments and return to TriHealth for needed care. The pace of our reopening will continue to be guided by the state, as well as the degree to which patients feel comfortable seeking care within our facilities. Today, our clinical care volume is at about 70% of pre-pandemic levels, which is encouraging, as it was roughly only 50% just three weeks ago. This week, you will hear from HR about the latest plans and guidelines for safely returning team members back to work as our volumes build – either through continued remote arrangements or on-site within our facilities. Your leader will also be in touch to discuss how these plans apply to your current work situation.
- Finalizing Annual Plan for Fiscal Year 2021 based on post-pandemic realities. Due to the severe economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, combined with the likelihood it will alter patient and consumer behavior for the foreseeable future, most experts believe U.S. health systems will experience a slow and unpredictable return to pre-pandemic clinical volumes. As a result of the necessary, yet costly, COVID-19 shutdown, and now slow restart of elective services, health systems in our region and across the nation are losing millions each month. At TriHealth, we expect to incur losses of more than $80 million during the months of March, April, and May 2020 alone. And because this pandemic is without precedent, it is nearly impossible to predict when, or to what degree, clinical volumes will rebound. This reality will shape our business strategy for years to come, requiring us to be even more adaptive, resourceful, and fiscally responsible than ever before – starting with our strategic, operational, and financial priorities for 2021. To do so, we are building a financial plan to address what we anticipate will be lower patient volumes and revenue for at least the next 12-18 months, until a vaccine is developed and the fears of contracting the virus and a second surge subside. We are also adjusting our FY 2021 annual plan priorities, including goals in our five Pillars – Safety, Service, People, Finance and Growth – with these new realities. And, we will need to accelerate our work to Get Healthcare Right by embracing value-based payment and care models and higher levels of care consolidation within our system. I will share more details about our FY 2021 annual plan as its finalized in the coming weeks.
Weekly COVID-19 Communications Calendar
- Monday, May 18 – Friday, May 22: M-W-F Dr. Joseph video updates available on Bridge
- Tuesday, May 19: CEO Weekly Update
- Wednesday, May 20 @ 12pm: Team Member/Physician Town Hall — livestreamed and archived on Facebook and Bridge.
- Friday, May 22 – Weekly COVID Update email
Please also continue to visit our COVID Hub on Bridge for up-to-the-minute news and updates.
In closing, I’d like to leave you with an uplifting reminder of the impact of your heroic work. TriHealth and our Good Samaritan team were in the national spotlight last week for the extraordinary, life-saving care we provided to Alicia Kappers, our miracle mom who gave birth at Good Sam while in a coma fighting COVID-19. After a 41-day stay, Alicia and her beautiful newborn son were discharged healthy and happy a few weeks ago, all due to the exceptional care she received from our amazing team! Featured on Live with Kelly and Ryan and CNN, this is just one of the hundreds of daily examples of what makes our TriHealth team so special! Throughout this crisis, you demonstrate each and every day what it means to be TriHealth Strong – One Team. One Sacred Mission. One Great Health System – and I could not be prouder or more grateful to work alongside you in service to our community during this time of unimaginable need! THANK YOU for all you do, and most importantly, for who you are!!Overall Rating: Comments:
where is the replay of yesterdays town hall meeting ? Facebook did not play it in its entirety
Posted by: Team Member on 21 May, 2020
I love how TriHealth management has responded to the Covid-19 issues and working toward a back to life scenario. It has been uplifting and encouraging.
Posted by: Linda Collins2 on 20 May, 2020
Posted by: Lisa Mulneix on 20 May, 2020