HR & Employee HealthModified on 5/18/2020 at 10:39am

Resources, guidance, and policies for faculty and staff on what to do if you feel sick, telework, pay practices, travel, holding events, and wellness and prevention.

This site is provided for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute providing medical advice or professional services. All information is meant for use by health care workers and not the general public. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately. No physician-patient relationship is created by this web site or its use. Neither the University of Iowa nor its employees, nor any contributor to this web site, makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided herein or to its use.

Employee health - COVID-19 questions

If you are concerned about symptoms:
Updated on 05/08/2020 at 12:57 pm

If staff are concerned about having symptoms of COVID-19, call ahead to the University Employee Health Clinic at 319-356-3631. Please do not arrive in person unless you’ve been told to do so for follow-up.

Beginning Monday, May 11, this phone line will be staffed Monday–Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends/holidays from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If employees have a question concerning COVID-19 outside of the call line hours, then can call the hospital’s COVID-19 hotline for general questions at 319-384-8819 or to schedule an appointment call 319-384-9010.

Coronavirus symptoms may include:

Any of these symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.0° F or greater
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell

Or at least two of these symptoms: 

  • Headache
  • Unexplained muscle pain or body aches
  • Chills
If you have traveled outside the state of Iowa or outside the country, or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19:
  • You can continue working if you are asymptomatic. Please self-monitor by taking your temperature twice daily (before and after shifts) and assess for a new cough or new fever. Fever is considered 100° F or above or subjective fever.
  • If you have symptoms of fever or new cough, please do not come to work. Notify your supervisor and call University Employee Health Clinic (UEHC) at 319-356-3631 to discuss your symptoms and determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.
If you are tested for COVID-19:
  • Please notify your supervisor or HR representative.
  • Stay home and isolate from others in your household until you have your test results. Then, use the following guidance depending on the result of your test:
If you tested positive for COVID-19:
Updated on 05/08/2020 at 12:57 pm
  • Please notify your supervisor or HR representative.
  • Call the University Employee Health Clinic (UEHC) at 319-356-3631.
  • Stay home and isolate from others in your household, until:
  • At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared AND you have been fever-free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine AND other symptoms (cough and shortness of breath), if any, have improved.

Please contact UEHC (319-356-3631) before returning to work, so that they can review your symptoms and determine if it is safe to do so.

If you tested negative for COVID-19:
  • Please notify your supervisor or HR representative.
  • You may return to work once you have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine AND have no other new respiratory symptoms (cough and shortness of breath).
When to return to work if you tested positive for COVID-19

Please contact the University Employee Health Clinic at 319-356-3631 before returning to work if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, so that they can review your symptoms and determine if it is safe to do so.

Will I find out if any of my coworkers have tested positive for COVID-19?

To protect the privacy of our employees, no, there will not be a systematic process for telling fellow employees when a member of their team has tested positive for COVID-19. In these cases, employees are also patients, so in order to follow HIPAA regulations, managers should not share test results of one of their employees with other coworkers. It is up to the individual employee to share their own test results if they choose.

Managers should follow their usual practices for informing other employees when a coworker is out: Some variation of, “They are home today,” is all that needs to be said, whether they are home from COVID-19, a migraine, or the flu.

COVID-19 is now out widely in the community, so you should treat every person you encounter—coworkers, patients, and neighbors alike—as if they may have COVID-19 because in fact, they may. The virus is believed to be contagious even before symptoms occur. That’s why it’s so important to always follow all preventive measures, including wearing a shield, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands.

If you as an employee are ill with influenza like symptoms, you should stay home, contact your supervisor, and then call the University Employee Health Clinic at 319-356-3631. Please do not arrive in person unless you’ve been told to do so for follow-up. If you test positive for COVID-19, you should inform your supervisor of your need to remain out of the workplace until you have recovered.

Mental health resources

Mental health hotline

This is an unprecedented time for us at UI Hospitals & Clinics, and as we continue to care for our patients, it’s important to also take care of ourselves. Understandably, you may be feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed.

We urge you to practice self-care often, and for additional support you can now call our mental health hotline at 319-678-4148 (internally 84148) to speak with a provider from the UI Department of Psychiatry. This hotline will be staffed 24/7 and may be used to:

  • Discuss mental health issues and stress
  • Learn stress-management strategies
  • Get referred for further treatment, if needed

You will not be billed for this service. Our psychiatry providers simply want to help calm and support colleagues during these challenging times.

Please note that this hotline is not for general COVID-19 questions or concerns. For those inquiries, please call 319-384-8819.

UI Employee Assistance Program

The UI Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers confidential counseling, information, and referral by licensed mental health professionals. The program serves faculty, staff, and their families. To schedule an appointment, please call 319-335-2085 or email eaphelp@uiowa.edu.

COPE Team

The COPE Team can provide emotional support to staff who have had a work-related experience that might challenge their capacity to cope. The team consists of chaplains, social workers, psychiatric nurses, physicians, nurse ethicists, and representatives from the Employee Assistance Program. You can contact COPE at UIHC-COPE@healthcare.uiowa.edu or page 7080, or visit the COPE Team SharePoint site.

Employee Wellness Forums

We stand together for the health and wellness of our employees. To promote health and wellness, the Department of Psychiatry, Employee Assistance Program, and COPE Team are teaming up to host a series of wellness forums. Our experts and other experts from our community will give a series of brief, practical presentations to help you manage stress and cope effectively during this challenging time.

When: Forums are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon.

View the live stream and previously recorded forums on YouTube.

Please note that these forums are not for general COVID-19 questions or concerns. For those inquiries, please call 319-384-8819.

Employee screening and hospital access

Latest information about entrances

COVID-19 time tracking and Labor Pool resources

COVID-19 time tracking: How to use the new web-based tool

A web-based application has been developed to streamline and refine the time tracking process related to COVID-19. This process applies to exempt, non-bargaining staff at UI Health Care.

The web application will replace the Excel time tracking template and will be used to record administrative, management, and planning time directly related to COVID-19 and for time away from University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics due to reduced workload (at-the-ready).

Starting today, please use the web application instead of the Excel sheet.

All non-exempt and SEIU staff will continue using codes in ELMS to perform time tracking.

View time tracking codes (HealthCareID required).

For more instructions on how to use the web application, view our how-to document.

COVID-19 Labor Pool resources

View the supervisors page for COVID-19 Labor Pool resources.

Telework

Telecommuting best practices and expectations

Please review the following work expectations related to your telework arrangement:

  • You are to perform your duties at the expected performance standard and have regularly-scheduled and approved work hours.
  • You are responsible for maintaining availability, and levels of production and quality of work at the expected standard while telecommuting.
  • You agree to be accessible to your supervisor, co-workers, or others during the work hours agreed upon and as appropriate to your job responsibilities.
  • You agree to safely maintain the telecommuting workplace site.
  • You agree to comply with all UI Health Care policies and procedures, including adequately safeguarding and securing any restricted or confidential information (including PHI) with which you work.
  • Your email should not say “out of office” which implies you are not available for work.
Process to request permission to work from home

Our commitment to safely and effectively meeting the public health challenge presented by COVID-19 extends to permitting employees to work from home or another remote location whenever necessary in the coming weeks.

To continue to provide the appropriate level of care to our patients, we cannot implement a one-size-fits-all telework arrangement. Instead, each request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and we’ll take into account individual job functions and supervisor support.

We have criteria and recommendations on The Point to assist employees and supervisors in determining which positions are most appropriate to request telework. Any employees whose jobs involve patient care or directly support clinical operations are unlikely to be able to telework.

If you think you are able to do your job from home or another location, and would like to request to telecommute, please review the guidelines above and talk to your supervisor.

Guide to working remotely
Updated on 04/13/2020 at 8:00 am

How do I access The Point and other systems from home?

Health Care Information Systems has a variety of remote access solutions available to UI Health Care faculty and staff. The appropriate solution for you depends on what systems you need access to. This document is meant to help you identify the right solution for your needs and provide guidance how to request access to that solution.

Remote access solutions don’t generally support remote telephony. If you need remote telephone services, the individual will be responsible for updating their voice mail with an appropriate contact number such as a home or cell phone or be diligent about checking voice mail for messages.

The solutions offered for remote access are in order of preference and ease of deployment.


Citrix Remote Access

All UI Health Care faculty and staff already have access to a core set of systems via Citrix Remote Access. At a minimum, the following systems are available to you:

Adobe Acrobat 2017 Calculator Mail Control panel Google Chrome Internet Explorer
Network Drives (H:, S:, etc.) Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint
Microsoft Word Microsoft Outlook Safety Incident Reporting Electronic Death Certification ELMS Remote
ELMS Remote Scheduling ICON Micromedex – New My Compliance Tableau – New
TempTrak The Point UIHC SmartWeb UpToDate Voalte Messenger

You may have other systems available to you based on your role. For example, faculty and staff with access to Epic in the hospital automatically have access to Epic via Citrix Remote Access.

Citrix Remote Access is the preferred method for accessing UI Health Care systems. It provides a secure connection to our systems and does not require any special hardware on your end. However, not all systems can be accessed by Citrix Remote Access. The easiest thing to do is to review what applications are available to you and determine if this meets your needs.

How do I use Citrix Remote Access?

If you have a HealthCareID, you already have access. Citrix Remote Access can be accessed by any computer with an Internet connection and a web browser by visiting https://desktop.healthcare.uiowa.edu.

See our handout on Citrix Remote Access for more information.

What are the limitations of Citrix Remote Access?

Citrix Remote Access is easily deployed and HCIS is well positioned to support your use of it. However, if you require access to systems and applications not currently available through Citrix Remote Access, an alternative solution may be more appropriate.


Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) via Citrix

If you have tools on your UI Health Care workstation that are not available through Citrix Remote Access, you may be a candidate for RDP via Citrix. This solution allows you to connect to your workstation on your desk from any computer with an Internet connection. It relies on the same technology as Citrix Remote Access but requires you know your workstation ID (aka M number). However, you must be specially granted access to this solution.

How do I use RDP via Citrix?

Accessing RDP via Citrix is the same as Citrix Remote Access as it relies on the same infrastructure. You will need to make sure your workstation in UIHC is powered on and logged in.

See our handout on Use RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) via Citrix for more information.

What are the limitations of RDP via Citrix?

As noted above, you are actually connecting to your UI Health Care workstation on your desk from another computer. This assumes you have a dedicated workstation and are not using a shared workstation. This could require you to come on site to your desk in the event of the PC powering off or if the system hangs. In the event this occurs, any specialized systems you access through RDP via Citrix would not be available until you come back to your desk. Applications available through Citrix Remote Access will continue to be available.

Given the architecture of this solution, not all applications will perform like they do when running locally due to bandwidth limitations between the hospital and your home computer. Items such as video and image quality may be degraded and not appropriate for clinical decision making.

How do I request access to RDP via Citrix

Requests for RDP via Citrix will be reviewed and validated for appropriateness.

See our handout on Request RDP Access via Citrix for more information.

It will be mandatory that you provide a justifiable reason for requesting RDP via Citrix to services that are unable to be provided via Citrix.


Virtual Private Network (VPN)

If you have a workstation managed by UI Health Care that you can take home and Citrix Remote Access and RDP Via Citrix do not meet your work requirements, you can be provided Virtual Private Network (VPN) software for your workstation. The VPN software makes your computer function as though it is on the UI Health Care network. This allows you to continue to connect to network drives and other applications you may need access to.

How do I use VPN

Please see our handout on Use VPN for Remote Access for more information.

What are the limitations of a VPN?

The VPN client can only be installed on a Windows or Mac computer managed by HCIS. For the protection of the institution, University security policy does not allow the software to be installed on personal equipment. Additionally, access via the VPN is not protected by multi-factor authentication (e.g. Duo) which provides additional security to other remote access methods. Lastly, specialized systems may require the creation of specialized VPN profiles by HCIS. Creation and testing of these profiles may be time consuming and may result in delayed access to these services.

How do I request a VPN?

Requests for VPNs will be reviewed and validated for appropriateness. Please contact the HCIS Help Desk at 319-356-0001 or email a request to helpdesk-hcis@uiowa.edu with “VPN Request” in the subject line.

It will be mandatory that you provide a justifiable reason for requesting VPN access to services that are unable to be provided via Citrix or RDP via Citrix.


Installing Skype for Business

Skype for Business is a communication tool that allows our interactions to be more collaborative, engaging, and accessible from anywhere.

See our handout on Installing Skype for Business to learn how to install and configure Microsoft Skype for Business on your home PC.

How to use Skype Enterprise Voice to call patients and colleagues on your computer or cell phone

Skype Enterprise Voice enables healthcare employees to perform the following types of outbound calling from their computer/laptop:

·         Local (to the greater Iowa City area)

·         Long distance (with a valid long-distance access code)

·         5-digits to another UI extension

·         Skype peer-to-peer call

The recipient of the call will see the generic hospital number of (319) 338-2111. This is the number many patients have come to recognize as an incoming call from UI Health Care.

Users will not be able to receive external inbound calls on the enterprise voice solution.

Skype Enterprise Voice mobile is also available for outbound calling. View directions below on how to download and use the latest app on your phone. 

View directions for use on computer (pages 1-3) and/or phone

Reset your password without calling the Help Desk

Password troubles? You can reset it yourself without calling the Help Desk. Just visit healthcareid.uiowa.edu, anytime, anywhere.

Top 10 data security considerations when working remotely
    1. The following points are to help you make sure confidential data is protected when you are working from a remote location, such as home. Remember that you have a responsibility to protect the confidentiality of all data that you use and have access to. For patient data, HIPAA guidelines apply to data being access from UIHC or remotely. In the current crisis, it is critically important that confidentiality and security of data be maintained.
    2. If you are using a personal computer at home, make sure you have security software such as AntiVirus installed, maintain current updates, software updates/patches, locked screen, and do not share the computer with other family members. If you are using work-provided computer at home—work computers are intended for business and may not be shared with others, including family members. Be sure to notify the Help Desk if you suspect updates to your work computer are not getting applied, or if you have any other cybersecurity concerns.
    3. Do not use unsecured, public wifi (such as in restaurants, coffee shops, etc.) unless you are using a secure VPN or Citrix session. When using home wifi, make sure your home wifi is secured with a strong password (greater than 10 characters, mixed upper and lower case, numeric and symbols) and strong encryption. For the encryption type, use WPA2. There are different types of WPA2, all are fine. Make sure you keep your home wi-fi software up to date, even if you are simply using your home computer to check your UIHC email.
  1. Be very careful when clicking links—even more careful than when working onsite at UIHC or UIowa. Be aware of URLs and website addresses when accessing sites on the internet. Do not visit sites you wouldn’t browse during the normal course of your work.  We have specific protection mechanisms in place within the UIHC environment to protect against “known bad” sites—those protections don’t extend to your home network.  Use more caution when working from home or when connecting to UIHC network with a personal computer.
  2. Do NOT save sensitive data on your personal device. While it may make it easier to access, it is vulnerable to loss, corruption, cyber-attacks and viruses. Make patient and sensitive data is only being stored only on approved storage locations.
  3. When you are not using your computer, disconnect it from the network and/or shut it down. This prevents attacks and data loss, as well as unauthorized access by people who may share your space when working from home.
  4. Do not use random thumb drives. Loading thumb drives with viruses or other malware is a common problem. If you have a thumb drive but don’t know where it came from, DO NOT use it.
  5. Protect remote devices against theft. Don’t leave a laptop or cell phone in your car, even if the car is locked the devices should not be accessible.  Keep laptops secured at all times.
  6. Use the PUSH feature when using DUO 2-factor for authentication. Using the telephone call feature costs UIHC “telephony credits” which UIHC pays for in a metered fashion. The PUSH costs UIHC nothing additional.
  7. Review messages being sent in email to ensure that you are sending to the correct recipient.  Working on a laptop, keyboards might not respond the same way as your desktop keyboard…double-check before sending.

Additional information can be found at: https://opsmanual.uiowa.edu/community-policies/acceptable-use-information-technology-resources

For questions, please contact the Information Security and Policy Office at UI Information Security Office (it-security@uiowa.edu).

 

Remote working documentation available from the ESC Self Service Portal
Updated on 04/22/2020 at 8:43 am

Technical documentation to support remote/off-site working is now available from the HCIS Help Desk, ESC Self Service Portal. This web site is available from any location, on or off the UI Health Care network, and will prompt for your HealthCare credentials to access the information. The documents provided are to assist in connecting to Citrix, Skype, and Outlook to support daily work as well as assistance in supporting mobile devices and other applications. The ESC Self Service Portal and documentation can be viewed using the following instructions:

  1. Open an internet browser and go to: https://service.healthcare.uiowa.edu/CherwellPortal
  2. Select “Login” from the upper right corner.
  3. Enter your HealthCareID and password.
  4. Select the “Knowledge” link from the upper menu.
  5. This will provide a list of the Most Popular Knowledge articles and a location to use for keyword searching of all articles. 
  6. Once in the article, you have an option to like the article, add a comment about the particular article or share the article with others via email.
HCIS suspending walk-in visits to Technology Assistance Center

HCIS is suspending walk-in visits to HCIS Technology Assistance Center (TAC) (Elevator BE, Level 1) due to the developing COVID-19 situation.

They are working on alternative methods to resolve IT issues typically addressed at TAC.

For EPCS fingerprint/DUO enrollment: Please email EPCS-Enrollments@uiowa.edu to schedule a time between 9:00 AM and 4:00 pm M-F.

For IT help, please contact the Help Desk:

Reminder: Departmental procurement cards may not be used to buy computers and other equipment

Reminder: Departmental procurement cards may not be used to buy computers and other equipment. View our Health Care Information Systems–Purchasing policy on The Point for more information.

Working Remotely Blog

Working from home can be a challenge, especially in stressful times. This blog offers advice and support, including perspectives from University of Iowa employees developing their own work-from-home routines.

Returning to work

Who should return to UI Hospitals and Clinics property?
Updated on 05/14/2020 at 2:08 pm

Initially, staff providing patient care and supporting the clinical operations of the hospital and clinics and the Labor Pool will be prioritized for return based clinical volumes and needs.

Does the return to work plan include student workers?
Updated on 05/14/2020 at 2:08 pm

All student workers working within the hospital are expected to follow the same return to work requirements as regular staff.

When will all employees return to work on site and who will make that decision?
Updated on 05/14/2020 at 2:09 pm

While some staff will return to the hospital immediately due to the gradual ramp up of clinic and patient volumes, the long-term plan to return to normal operations must be done incrementally and will closely rely on public health conditions.

In the meantime, individual clinical units and operational areas have developed plans to have employees return to support increased volumes of clinical and surgical services.

Additional work is underway to help UI Health Care prepare for the eventual full return of staff.

Why aren’t all employees being called back at the same time?
Updated on 05/14/2020 at 2:09 pm

UI Health Care leaders and public health experts agree that returning people too quickly, and without proper safety precautions, could lead to further spikes in the COVID-19 spread. We will approach our return to workplaces in a methodical manner to prevent unnecessary health risks and to avoid, as much as possible, a situation in which we must send employees home again for an extended period of time.

What must each clinical unit or department do to prepare for employees to work on site?
Updated on 05/14/2020 at 2:10 pm

The management of each department is evaluating staff needs on site and also the feasibility and productivity of existing remote work arrangements.  Employees should stay in close communication with their supervisors.

If work cannot continue from home, leaders or supervisors are encouraged to develop localized plans that are unique and specific to the needs and safety of their staff. Such plans must align with the overall return to work plan.

Ultimately, these steps will allow us to slowly and gradually return certain aspects of our work on site without placing health and safety at risk.

Will I be able to continue to work remotely once my unit has returned to campus?
Updated on 05/14/2020 at 2:10 pm

Supervisors will work with employees to determine the best working arrangements for each team, which may include a phased or staggered return and work-from-home options, depending on organization and individual departmental needs.

I am a caregiver whose children attend schools and/or daycares that are closed. What guidance can leadership provide?
Updated on 05/14/2020 at 2:10 pm

Leadership is aware of the daycare and K-12 school closures and the challenges they may present for staff who are also parenting and homeschooling children. At this time, returning to work is only required for those staff members who provide patient care and/or operational support for the hospitals and clinics.

Supervisors and managers are encouraged to work with their staff to implement scheduling practices to help them successfully manage their work and personal responsibilities.

I am a caregiver of someone who has COVID-19, or I have COVID-19 symptoms myself. Do I return to work?
Updated on 05/14/2020 at 2:10 pm

No. Please contact the University Employee Health Clinic at 319-356-3631 before returning to work if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or are caring for a person who is sick with COVID-19, so that they can review symptoms and determine when it is safe to return.

UI Health Care has various leave policies in place that allow staff to stay home when they are sick, when household members are sick, or when required by a healthcare provider to isolate or quarantine themselves or a member of their household because of COVID-19.

Are visitors allowed back into the hospitals and clinics?
Updated on 05/14/2020 at 2:10 pm

View the latest visitor restrictions in place.

What will occur if Iowa or the Iowa City community experiences another spike in COVID-19 cases?
Updated on 05/14/2020 at 2:11 pm

As we know, this pandemic may ebb and flow, and we all will need to respond appropriately to keep ourselves, patients, and those around us safe.

If such a spike occurs, the return-to-work plan will be reevaluated, and it may be necessary to slow down implementation.  This continues to be a fluid situation.

Will employees continue to be screened at the hospital entrances?
Updated on 05/14/2020 at 2:11 pm

Yes.  To continue to protect the health and safety of everyone in the building, screening measures will continue until further notice.

Will in-person meetings be allowed?
Updated on 05/14/2020 at 2:11 pm

In-person meetings will remain discouraged and should be conducted virtually to the greatest extent practicable. If a meeting must be conducted in person to accomplish the purpose of the meeting, social distancing and other measures such as face shields must be followed.

Preventing the spread

Showers available for UI Health Care staff
Updated on 05/26/2020 at 3:40 pm

As we continue to respond to COVID-19 in our community, we are  opening showers to UI Health Care staff who prefer to shower at work before going home.

Employees may request badge access or a door code for showers. Permission will be granted by location.

Guidance on laundering of scrubs at home

Per our Program of Hospital Epidemiology’s guidance, hospital-issued scrubs (greens) are not required to safely care for any of our inpatients or outpatients, including COVID-19 confirmed cases or patients under investigation (PUI). You should continue to wear what you normally wear at work.

If you have concerns about wearing your own scrubs home after your shift, we advise that you bring a change of clothes in a plastic bag. Before leaving work, change, place your clothes/scrubs in the plastic bag to bring home, and place them directly in your laundry.

Guidance on laundering of scrubs at home

  • Consider bringing a change of clothes to wear at end of shift and a washable or disposable bag to place scrubs into after changing
  • When laundering, consider washing scrubs separately from other clothes
  • Handle laundry with minimal agitation
  • Clean your hands after loading the washer
  • Use the warmest water setting on your washer
  • Use the required amount of detergent for your washer
  • Ensure items are dried completely afterwards using a dryer on the highest heat setting that clothes will tolerate
A how-to guide for cleaning items and surfaces at home

Washing your hands often, covering your coughs and sneezes, and social distancing are all key ways to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses like influenza. But it’s also important to keep other “high touch” items clean.

Here are some steps you can take at home:

Cell phones

Our phones are used constantly throughout the day, meaning that keeping them clean is especially important. Make sure to carefully follow the guidelines of your cell phone manufacturer to avoid damage.

Two major cell phone manufacturers provided the following guidance about cleaning devices:

  • Apple products: “Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces. Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents. Don’t use on fabric or leather surfaces.”
  • Samsung products: “You can also use a disinfectant, such as a hypochlorous acid-based solution (containing 50-80ppm) or an alcohol-based solution (containing more than 70% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol). Do not apply these liquid solutions directly to your phone; they should be carefully applied to a microfiber cloth instead.”

Badges

Badges can be cleaned gently by using soap and water.

Keys

Some keys may be gently cleaned by using disinfectant wipes, or washed with soap and water. Note: You should use caution and be sure that liquids will not damage key fobs.

Scrubs

When laundering scrubs at home, follow these general guidelines:

  • Consider bringing a change of clothes to wear at the end of your shift and a washable or disposable bag to place scrubs into after changing
  • When laundering, consider washing scrubs separately from other clothes
  • Handle laundry with minimal agitation, clean your hands after loading the washer
  • Use the warmest water setting on your washer
  • Use the required amount of detergent for your washer
  • Ensure items are dried completely afterwards using a dryer on the highest heat setting that clothes will tolerate
Limiting food sharing

Please limit food sharing. There are potential health risks with communal food sharing, and it is strongly discouraged at this time. Staff may bring in food to share only if it is individually pre-packaged. Food should not be consumed in areas other than designated break rooms.

COVID-19: Employee leave

Why are UI Health Care employees not eligible to receive benefits from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)?

We are experiencing a public health crisis. Health care workers therefore play a critical role in society’s response to the crisis. Due to that critical role, the FFCRA allows employers of health care providers and emergency responders an exemption from eligibility for the expanded leave provided by the Act. However, to address the heightened need for flexibility in this uncertain time, UI Health Care is utilizing the expansion of other leave benefits for employees.

What expanded leave benefits is UI Health Care making available to its employees?
  • An additional 80 hours (prorated for part-time) of sick leave may be available to use for one’s own illness, illness of an immediate family member, or childcare as further indicated below.
  • Up to 160 hours of sick leave (i.e., up to 80 of your own accrued leave plus 80 additional, as referenced above) may be available to use as family caregiving leave for the purposes of caring for minor dependents when such care is required as a consequence of the closure of a K-12 school or a childcare center where the minor was enrolled.
    • For example: if you have 200 hours of accrued sick leave, you may use 80 of those hours as family caregiving leave for minor dependents when such care is required as a consequence of the closure of a K-12 school or a childcare center where the minor was enrolled, plus 80 additional hours.
What is the definition of "immediate family member" for the purpose of using the additional leave?

For the purpose of this expanded leave, an employee may use the available sick time to care for a person who regularly resides in the employee’s home, or a similar person with whom the employee has a relationship with that creates an expectation that the employee would care for the person if he or she were quarantined or self-quarantined.

May an employee use the expanded leave to care for the employee's grandchild?

No, unless the employee is the legal guardian or has an “in loco parentis” relationship with the child, meaning that they have day-to-day responsibility to care for or financially support the child.

What is the process for requesting this leave?

Family caregiving leave for the purposes of caring for your child as the result of a school or child care center closure must be planned time off and approved by your manager or unit leader. This leave should not be used for same day call-offs. The first priority of unit leadership, when considering the approval of family caregiving leave, will be to ensure that the unit or work area is sufficiently staffed so as to provide the appropriate level of care for our patients.

If you or an immediate family member are ill with COVID-19, you may utilize up to 80 hours of sick leave. This leave can be requested via ELMS.

If I become infected with COVID-19 am I entitled to protected leave under FMLA?

It depends, but typically no. The FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for eligible employees with a serious health condition. A “serious health condition” is defined as an illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition that involves “inpatient care . . . or continuing treatment by a health care provider.” Many individuals who contract COVID-19 suffer mild symptoms and will therefore not likely be covered by the FMLA, as this would not rise to the level of a “serious health condition.” However, individualized assessment of the circumstances surrounding each case will be performed.

May I use FMLA to care for a family member that contracts COVID-19?

Similar to situations with employees who contract COVID-19 themselves, and as discussed above, whether an employee can use FMLA to care for a parent, child or spouse if that person has a serious health condition will depend in part on the severity of the person’s illness and their treatment plan.

Does Worker's Comp apply to COVID-19?

If an employee believes that in the course of their work they have been exposed to COVID-19, the employee should complete a First Report of Injury for the exposure. If they are unable to file themselves, their supervisor or designee can file on their behalf. The First Report of Injury is located on the UI Self Service portal under Benefits & Wellness, Worker’s Compensation, First Report of Injury. The departmental HR representative will also be able to assist.

Employee scenarios

These are typical examples of when an employee might need to use the additional COVID-19 leave options when an employee cannot work or telework.

You have symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking medical treatment, were diagnosed with COVID-19, or are medically quarantined and cannot telework.
  • You may utilize up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave at your regular rate of pay. A part-time employee is eligible for this leave prorated based on their appointment percentage. You will be able to request this leave via ELMS.
  • You can use your accrued sick, vacation or compensatory time, if applicable. You can request leave via the current departmental process.
You are caring for an immediate family member who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical treatment, diagnosed with COVID-19 or medically quarantined, and you cannot telework.
  • You may utilize up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave at your regular rate of pay.  A part-time employee is eligible for this leave prorated based on their appointment percentage. You will be able to request this leave via ELMS.
  • You can use your accrued sick, vacation or compensatory time, if applicable. You can request leave via the current departmental process.
You are caring for a child due to school or place of care closure or child care provider being unavailable, and you cannot telework.
  • You may utilize up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave at your regular rate of pay.  A part-time employee is eligible for this leave prorated based on their appointment percentage. You will be able to request this leave after discussing your needs with your manager.
  • You may utilize an additional 80 hours of Family Caregiving Leave (prorated for part-time), that will be drawn from your own accrued sick leave. You will be able to request this leave after discussing your needs with your manager.
  • You can use your accrued sick, vacation or compensatory time, if applicable. You can request leave via the current departmental process.

Need help finding child care? Contact the UI’s Child Care Assist program at childcare-assist@uiowa.edu.

You are healthy and not caring for an immediate family member or child, but you cannot telework and/or have limited regular work to perform.
  • In general, all employees should remain at the ready and/or accept reassignment to remain in pay status.
  • If you are not willing or able to be reassigned you will be required to utilize vacation time, compensatory time (if applicable), or unpaid leave of absence, as necessary.
Your child's child care center is still open and operational, but you wish to stay home with your child.

You will not be able to use the additional leave if your child’s regular place of care is still operational. The leave will only be available in situations where the employee must actually care for the child and no other suitable person (e.g., co-parents, co-guardians, or the usual childcare provider) is available to care for the child during the period.

Need help finding child care? Contact the UI’s Child Care Assist program at childcare-assist@uiowa.edu.

Child care resources and kids activities

Just-in-time child care resources

University Human resources has established a website to help employees find emergency child care during this crisis.

Do you have friends or neighbors who would like to help with child care?

The United Way’s Emergency Volunteer Center connects volunteers with urgent needs, including providing child-care services for parents in critical health-care roles. Search opportunities and register at the United Way’s COVID-19 volunteer website or call 319-337-VOLS(8685) to learn more.

 

SING.PLAY.LOVE. – for employees with kids ages 2 to 5 years

If you have children between the ages of 2 and 5 who are ready for fun new activities to do at home, we invite you to join us for a series of “parties” called SING.PLAY.LOVE.

These virtual gatherings are exclusive to University of Iowa Health Care employees and their families. They will take place at 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays on Zoom for six weeks, beginning Monday, April 20. Sign up here.

The 20–25 minute event is hosted by SING.PLAY.LOVE. creator Anne Meeker Watson, PhD, and includes fun music, movement, and book sharing. You and your children will get the opportunity to interact with other families via Zoom. The parties support your child’s engagement and self-regulation skills.

We are providing free picture books featured in the program for the first 100 families that sign up. You will be able to keep the “party” going as you “rock and read” at home. Pick-up instructions will be provided once you sign up.

If you can’t join the live parties, access to “on demand” parties and other online materials will also be provided once you sign up.

This project is sponsored by the UI Department of Psychiatry in partnership with the Patients’ and Children’s Libraries.

If you have questions, please contact kelly-pelzel@uiowa.edu.

Discounts for faculty and staff

Discounted hotel rates for health care employees
Updated on 04/29/2020 at 8:00 am

View list at medcom.uiowa.edu/theloop/discounted-hotel-rates-for-health-care-employees

(HealthCareID and password are required to view)

Food and Nutrition Services is offering a 25% discount

To support our employees during this time, Food and Nutrition Services is offering a 25% discount on purchases made by UI Health Care employees (badge needed for discount).

Compass Express also offers a number of grocery items for staff to buy and bring home.

Local businesses offer discounts for UI Health Care employees
Updated on 06/01/2020 at 11:30 am

As UI Health Care employees work tirelessly to meet the needs of our patients and our community in response to COVID-19, several local businesses are offering discounted services to show their support.

Thank you to these local business leaders for thinking of our team during these challenging times. We, as a community, are in #InThisTogether.

If you know of other local discounts, let us know in the comments section and we will update this list. Businesses offering special deals for health care workers are encouraged to fill out this form to be added to our list.

Automotive

University Scooters is offering free scooter oil changes for all local hospital workers and first responders. Contact Tyler Persinger by calling 319-333-1368 or email info@uscoots.com.

Deery Brothers Ford/IC will disinfect cars for hospital staff with every oil change. They are also offering pick up and drop off services for oil changes. Contact Patrick Eads at 563-212-8030.

Absolutely Clean is offering free vehicle steam sanitizing for health care workers and first responders with an essential employee badge. Up to five appointments will be available per day on a first come, first served basis. Email info@absolutelyclean.org or call 319-377-4404 for more information.

Take 5 Oil Change is partnering with Castrol to thank medical professionals and first responders for their dedicated work with 50% off any oil change. Visit this page to claim your coupon or visit any Take 5 location with your valid work ID. Iowa locations listed here.

Home furnishings, home improvement, home services

Moxie Solar is offering turnkey residential and commercial solar systems at or near our cost of construction, an immediate $1,000 for groceries, childcare, or house cleaning. To redeem, mention you are interested in the EMPOWERMED Program, and provide some form of proof that they (or spouse) work in the health care industry when they contact us. The $1000 offering is available immediately after contract signing. This can be used for groceries through New Pioneer Coop (includes free delivery), day care services (MOXIE will pay the day care directly), cleaning services (paid directly), etc. To learn more about this offer, contact Blair Gretter with MOXIE Solar, at blair@moxiesolar.com or 319-853-1189.

Bachmeier Carpet One is offering 15% off regular price materials until further notice. Contact Bachmeier Carpet One at 319-545-5678 with questions.

Food and restaurants

St. Burch Tavern

Offering 25% off takeout orders for healthcare workers.

Papa Johns  would like to thank all first responders for their dedication and hard work. Enjoy 42% off regular menu price when ordering online using code 42MED. Offer valid at participating locations. Delivery fee may apply. Not valid with any other offer. Customer pays all applicable sales tax. Offer valid through June 28.

Panda Express, a Children’s Miracle Network partner, is offering a 10% discount offer for all hospital workers. This offer is only valid for in-store orders at participating locations. To receive this special discount, present your employment badge or ID when ordering at a participating store in the U.S.

Miscellaneous

This site has compiled national offers available for nurses.

Disclaimer

This page contains links to other websites as a convenience for the University of Iowa Health Care employees. The University of Iowa does not control, monitor, or guarantee the information contained on these sites or information contained on links to other external websites, and does not endorse any views expressed or products or services offered therein. In no event shall the University of Iowa be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any such content, products, or services available on or through any such site or resource.

All links to external websites and/or non–University of Iowa information provided on university pages or returned from university web search engines are provided as a courtesy. They should not be construed as an endorsement by the University of Iowa of the content, views, products, or services offered by the linked materials. Many/most of these services require proof of current University of Iowa employee identification. These discounts may be discontinued at any time by the providers/vendors without notice.

Travel & events

Guidance on events, gatherings, services, and public spaces

We are issuing updated guidelines related to events, gatherings, services, and public spaces in order to protect the health and safety of our patients, employees and the community.

Meetings and events

The University of Iowa, including UI Health Care, is now following the recommendations of the White House and Governor Reynolds to limit all gatherings (meetings, events, etc.) to no more than 10 people.

All essential meetings or events must be limited to 10 in-person attendees or offered through a virtual format. Using virtual options such as Skype, Zoom, or conference calls is recommended whenever possible. Any exceptions must be approved by the Vice President for Medical Affairs Brooks Jackson, MD, MBA. Requests should be submitted by emailing ui-coronavirusquestions@uiowa.edu.

All non-essential meetings and events that are already scheduled should be canceled, rescheduled, or offered virtually (Skype, Zoom, etc.). No new non-essential meetings or events should be scheduled until further notice. Further guidance on virtual meetings is coming.

Groups with upcoming events scheduled are urged to begin considering alternative plans.

If you need help communicating event changes, view a sample template below.

Here is a list of some recent changes:

Events

  • All UI Health Care new employee orientations have been moved to virtual meetings.

Services

  • Massage Oasis locations within University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics are closed until further notice.
  • Valet services have been suspended for both Main Entrance and Pomerantz Family Pavilion entrances until further notice.
  • Modifications to the cafeterias have been made to eliminate the use of shared serving utensils and potential contamination.
  • The Hills Bank branch in the Fountain Lobby will be closing starting Thursday, March 19.

Public spaces

  • The twelfth floor of University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital is temporarily closed to the public. This space is still accessible for patients.
  • Furniture has been removed in public spaces to increase social distancing.

 


Sample template to use for meeting/event cancelations

In order to proactively protect the health and safety of our patients, faculty, staff, learners, and volunteers, University of Iowa Health Care is significantly limiting all face-to-face meetings and events until further notice.

We have decided to [cancel, postpone, move this event to a virtual format] [name of event/gathering] on [date or through at least date]. We are sorry for the inconvenience, but the safety of our community is our top priority at this time.

[If applicable, share details on virtual alternative.]

Thank you for your understanding.

Work-related domestic travel suspended

To ensure adequate staffing levels, all UI Health Care work-related domestic and international travel has been suspended until further notice. All personal travel should be carefully considered.

Any planned recruits coming to campus should follow their institution’s guidelines. It is recommended that you use video technology or postpone recruitment visits, as needed.

Feedback

Share a story about a health care hero

Do you know a UI Health Care employee who has gone above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic? We’d love to collect and share these stories about our health care heroes. Share your story at http://bit.ly/myiowastory.

Do you have an idea? Here is how to share it with leadership

To make it easier to share your ideas with the right people, we are creating one easy pathway for you to use. We will be using the Blind Spots reporting system to collect and aggregate similar suggestions. This will allow us to harness your ingenuity, get your ideas to the right people to investigate, and put them into action.

You can simply submit your suggestions by using your HealthCareID. Remember: Blind Spots is not for patient information, as the system is not HIPAA compliant.


How to submit

To submit a report, click on the Incident Reporting link found on: